Jones’ second-half heroics lead Richmond past Fordham, 73-71
The Spiders (13-11, 6-5) made up for a slow shooting start by turning over the Rams (6-16, 1-10) in all corners of the court.
Richmond forced 17 turnovers while only committing six themselves. Richmond won the points off turnover battle, 25-8, and scored 12 fastbreak points. UR continues to rank in the top 10 in the country for fewest turnovers.
The two Spider guards carried much of the scoring load as Richmond played its first game without Alonzo Nelson-Ododa who was injured on Sundayagainst Rhode Island. Kendall Anthony finished with 19 points, while Jones scored 18 points.
Terry Allen upped his double-digit scoring streak to eight games with a 17-point, six-rebound effort. Josh Jones had a career-high nine rebounds off the bench and T.J. Cline finished with nine points.
Playing without Ododa’s interior presence, the Spiders attacked the offensive glass and grabbed 15 offensive boards for 13 second-chance points. Fordham entered the game as one of the A-10’s best offensive rebounding squads and UR edged the Rams 15-13 in that category.
Fordham’s Eric Paschall scored a game-high 24 points, while Mandell Thomas finished with 17 points. Chris Sengfelder had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
Jones’ long-distance scoring came in some crucial stretches in the second half as Richmond overcame a nine-point deficit with 12:20 to play.
Although Richmond only trailed by one at the break, Fordham scored 21 points in the first eight minutes to build a 50-41 lead. A Cline three-point play and ShawnDre’ Jones three cut into the lead and then Josh Jones had a putback and Deion Taylor threw down a big dunk for a 10-2 UR run.
But the Rams quickly responded to go back up eight after a Bryan Smith three-pointer with 6:11 left.
Jones hit another three and Taylor stole the ball in the backcourt to find ShawnDre’ wide open again for a trey that brought down the house and got the margin back to 59-57. A fastbreak layup and then free throws from Cline tied the game twice, and ShawnDre’ Jones’ three with 1:52 left gave Richmond its first lead of the second half, 66-63.
Fordham’s Thomas hit a jumper to make it a one-point game, but Jones hit his fifth trey with 31 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.
Fordham’s Paschall was able to convert his own three and the Spiders were able to hit enough free throws to stay ahead of the Rams for the remainder. Fordham tried to intentionally miss a free throw with two seconds left, but Thomas’ jumper was wide at the buzzer.
The Spiders travel to Fairfax, Va., this weekend for a Valentine’s Day matinee at George Mason. The 4 p.m. game will be carried on MASN.