Jan. 2, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - As a shooter, Richmond's Kendall Anthony said he always thinks every shot is going in.
On Wednesday night, almost all of them did as the speedy, 5-foot-8 sixth man got to start and made seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Spiders to a 91-68 rout of Air Force.
Anthony, who replaced injured big man Derrick Williams in the lineup, missed only twice from beyond the arc in topping his previous high of 24 points. Darien Brothers added six 3-pointers and 25 points for the Spiders (10-5), who made a school-record 16 3-pointers (in 26 tries) and snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I just had the mindset that I was going to make every shot, and they fell for me tonight," Anthony said.
Air Force (8-4) was taken out early after an explosive scoring burst by Anthony.
He followed a 3-pointer by teammate Deion Taylor with one of his own 6:31 before halftime. After Terry Allen scored on a drive for the Spiders, Anthony hit again from behind the arc. After a free throw by Kamryn Williams for the Falcons, Anthony hit two more 3s, the second after a steal by Greg Robbins, and Anthony then made a steal and layup to give Richmond a 39-23 lead.
In all, he scored 14 of the Spiders' 19 points during a 19-5 blitz, and got the last eight in a matter of 26 seconds.
Brothers, who scored Richmond's first seven points of the game, then scored their last nine of the half to make it 48-30.
Brothers, who was 6-for-9 on 3s, could only smile at what Anthony was able to accomplish in his 30 minutes.
"It makes the game much easier for everybody around him," he said of the sophomore being on his game. "When he's hitting, guys are more focused on him and it gives other guys open shots."
The Spiders made 12 of their first 17 3-point tries and broke the mark of 15 3s accomplished twice previously. In all, they shot 54.7 percent from the field (29 of 53), and 61.5 percent from behind the arc.
"Defensively we still haven't guarded two of their guys," first-year Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said.
Michael Lyons led the Falcons (8-4) with 19 points.
The first-ever meeting of the schools was a reunion of sorts for Spiders coach Chris Mooney, who spent five seasons at Air Force, the last one as head coach, before coming to Richmond for the 2005-06 season. The Falcons arrived ranked ninth nationally with an average of 9 3-pointers per game, but had just one in the first half while the Spiders had 10 on 15 attempts. Anthony was 5-for-6 and Brothers was 4-for-6.
Air Force finished just 4-for-14 on 3-pointers and shot 43.1 percent (22 of 51) overall, and Pilipovich said he was surprised by how physical the Spiders were, especially without the 6-6, 275-pound Williams in the lineup.
"They bumped us on every cut. They were physical on the catch, just really aggressive defensively," Pilipovich said.
In the second half, Anthony's three-point play got the scoring started again, and Brothers followed with a 3-pointer and a three-point play. It was the start of a 17-6 burst that made it a runaway, allowing Mooney to give some playing time to players who rarely see game action.
Air Force had scored six points in a row to get within 20-18 midway through the first half before Anthony caught fire.