Richmond downs Dayton to capture A-10 titleMar 14, 2011 - 12:19 AM Atlantic City, NJ (Sports Network) - The third time was a charm for the Richmond Spiders.
Making its third Atlantic 10 championship game appearance -- and second in a row -- No. 3 seeded Richmond (27-7) finally captured the program's first A-10 crown with a 67-54 win over the ninth-seeded Dayton Flyers.
Kevin Anderson scored a game-high 23 points the Spiders, who have won seven in a row, including defeating nine-time champion Temple in the semifinals, 58-54, on Saturday. Justin Harper and Kevin Smith had 18 and 12 points, respectively, for the victors.
Richmond received a 12 seed in the NCAA tournament and will play No. 5 Vanderbilt.
"It's very fortunate for the team, very fortunate for our seniors to go out as champions in this tough conference," Anderson said. "I just think we all the came together at the right moment or defense was spectacular this whole tournament, our energy was spectacular this whole tournament."
Chris Johnson posted 11 points and snagged six rebounds for the Flyers (22-13), who were the surprise team of the tournament with wins against UMass, top-seeded and nationally-ranked Xavier and Saint Joseph's to advance to the championship round.
Juwan Staten added 10 points in the loss.
"It's not a great feeling losing," Johnson said. "I give our team a lot of credit. I mean, we played hard throughout the week and showed that we got a lot of toughness. And in continues every day and every game we got a great opportunity of doing something special."
There wasn't much doubt in this one, as the Flyer's magic seemed to run out right from the start.
Richmond came out to a quick 11-3 lead as Anderson scored five points. Cedrick Lindsay's three-pointer pushed it to a 10-point game at 22-12 with 7 1/2 to play in the first half.
The Spiders were up by 14 until the Flyers made six of the half's final eight points to cut it back to a 10-point game at the break, 34-24.
Dayton did come out hard in the second half scoring five straight point to cut the lead, 34-29. Anderson, though, buried a three with 17 minutes left to play to put Richmond back on track.
The Flyers would cut it to eight when Paul Williams' jumper nearing the midway point made the score 44-36.
However, the Spiders pushed it right back to ten with a Anderson jumper and a Smith layup with under 10 minutes to play. From there, Richmond played keep away with their advantage never dipping under eight points.
Dayton leads the series 10-7...These two teams met just once during the regular season, with Richmond capturing a 70-61 win on the road in Ohio... Richmond set a school record in wins with 27.
- DAYTON: 54
Mar 13 3:07 PM
- DAYTON: 24
Mar 13 1:48 PM
- DAYTON: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 13 1:07 PM
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