CBKB: Richmond beats No. 24 Xavier in OT in A10 semis
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Richmond is headed to the Atlantic 10 Conference championship game after playing its third overtime period against No. 24 Xavier in less than two weeks.
Kevin Anderson scored 27 points, David Gonzalvez added 26 and third-seeded Richmond rallied to defeat the second-seeded Musketeers 89-85 in OT in the conference semifinals Saturday.
Anderson hit a tying layup with 3.1 seconds left in regulation, then Gonzalvez made a 3-pointer to open the extra five minutes, helping Richmond (26-7) reach the conference final for the first time since 2002.
The Spiders 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.
Temple's last loss was a 71-54 defeat at Richmond.
Jordan Crawford had 20 points to lead Xavier (24-7), which had an eight-game winning streak snapped. The Musketeers are likely to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
The last time Xavier and Richmond met Feb. 28, the game went two overtimes, with the Musketeers walking off with a 78-76 win.
This one was just as exciting, with the Spiders rallying from a 73-69 deficit in the final 56 seconds of regulation 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 four.
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.
A half-court heave by Terrell Holloway (16 points) was never close.
Richmond never trailed in the overtime after Gonzalvez hit only his second 3-pointer in a game where he was 3-of-11 from long range.
Crawford closed the gap to 76-75 with two free throws, but Xavier couldn't take advantage of opportunities to come all the way back.
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 layup.
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.
Xavier led by as many as nine points in the second half and was still ahead 60-56 after Jamel McLean hit two free throws with 7:59 to play.
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.