Richmond 89, No. 24 Xavier 85

After playing two overtimes less than two weeks ago, it was only

appropriate that Richmond and No. 24 Xavier go another extra period

in the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals.

Kevin Anderson scored 27 points, David Gonzalvez added 26 and

third-seeded Richmond got some payback for its recent loss to

Xavier, defeating the second-seeded Musketeers 89-85 on Saturday to

advance to their first conference title game since 2002.

The Spiders (26-7) will face No. 17 Temple (28-5) on Sunday

afternoon at Boardwalk Hall, looking to dethrone the two-time

defending champions. The Owls beat Rhode Island 57-44 in the other

semifinal for their ninth straight win.

“They look great,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said of Temple.

“They are one of the best teams in the country. I think coach

(Fran) Dunphy is one of the best coaches in the country. Their

defense is suffocating. Their offense is very, very good and

efficient. It’s going to be an enormous challenge.”

Temple’s last loss was a 71-54 defeat at Richmond, a game in

which the Owls were without starting guard Juan Fernandez


“We know they’re solid and want to get revenge,” Gonzalvez

said. “We don’t expect it to be easy.”

Beating Xavier wasn’t, either.

Anderson had to hit a tying layup with 3.1 seconds left in

regulation to force the overtime and Gonzalvez made a 3-pointer to

open the extra five minutes and give Richmond the lead for


“It was just an incredible game,” Mooney said. “We played a

terrific game at their place, which was one of the best games I’ve

been a part of, and this was just an extension of that. There were

so many good plays made, so many outstanding efforts.”

This one was just as exciting as the 78-76 decision Feb. 28.

The Spiders rallied from a 73-69 deficit in the final 56 seconds

to tie the game. Anderson, the conference player of the year, got

the last four points.

Anderson’s second basket came 12 seconds after Dante’ Jackson

missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that could have put Xavier up by


Anderson rushed the ball upcourt after the miss and dribbled

around the top of the key before making a lightning quick move down

the left side of the lane for an uncontested layup.

“That play was broken down,” Anderson said. “I hesitated,

crossed over and was wide open at the basket for a layup.”

Jordan Crawford had 20 points to lead Xavier (24-7), which had

an eight-game winning streak snapped. Terrell Holloway added 16 for

the Musketeers, who are likely to get an at-large bid to the NCAA


“We both gave it our all,” forward Jamal McLean said. “We

just fell short. I think it’s just important to refresh our minds,

refresh our bodies and get focused for the NCAA tournament. It’s

sad we lost this game, but we have to move forward.”

Richmond never trailed in the overtime after Gonzalvez hit only

his second 3-pointer in a game in which he was 3-of-11 from long


Crawford closed the gap to 76-75 with two free throws, but

Xavier couldn’t take advantage of opportunities to come all the way


Down 83-80 with 36 seconds to play, Holloway missed the second

of two free throws and Jason Love got the rebound and missed a


Trailing 85-83 after Holloway hit a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds

left, Xavier had its hands on the inbounds pass but could not hold

on. Dan Geriot and Anderson then each hit two free throws to ice

the game.

“We had a couple chances where we probably could’ve won the

game, but I’m sure Richmond felt the same way a couple of weeks ago

at the Cintas Center,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “It was

their night; it’s disappointing but we’ll move forward.”

Xavier led by as many as nine points in the second half and was

still ahead 60-56 after McLean hit two free throws with 7:59 to


The Spiders then went on a 9-2 spurt and took a 64-62 lead on a

driving layup by Anderson.

Mark Lyons (13 points) answered for Xavier on the next

possession, hitting a 3-pointer, and Crawford followed with a steal

and dunk to push the lead to 67-64 with 5:02 to go.