RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Kendall Anthony has been told he’s been too small to play basketball all his life, and he’s never stopped proving his doubters wrong.
Anthony was especially stylish on an historic night in his career Saturday night as he made seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points as Richmond led from start to finish in an 89-63 victory against Davidson. His third 3-pointer made him the career leader for Richmond, and then he raced on by the mark.
”I like proving people wrong,” the 5-foot-8 senior said. ”A lot of people doubt me because of my size. … That’s not really a problem anymore.”
Instead, he uses it as motivation, and on a night when T.J. Cline added 23 points and Terry Allen 21 for the Spiders (10-8, 3-2 Atlantic 10), making the Wildcats have to try to stop him with one defender most of the time, Anthony was at his very best. He made 8 of 13 shots, 7 of 11 from beyond the arc.
”For us, when everybody gets going, multiple players scoring in double figures, we’re really a lethal team,” Anthony said.
Richmond, coming off a crushing double-overtime loss at George Washington on Thursday night that pushed their road losing streak to nine games, was sharp from the outset. It led 42-27 at halftime and scored 20 of the first 26 points after halftime to open a 57-31 lead that climbed to as many as 31.
Tyler Kalinoski scored 20 to lead Davidson (12-4, 3-2). The Wildcats, in their first season in the league, had beaten the Spiders 81-67 in their conference opener two weeks ago in North Carolina, but encountered a much different team in front of a sold-out Robins Center.
”I thought they played a magnificent game and they did it at both ends of the court,” Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. ”On the offensive end, they did it inside, they did it outside. … Defensively, they forced us into some bad decisions relative to shooting and passing.”
The night was especially momentous for Anthony, Richmond’s scoring leader. He came into the game needing three 3-pointers to pass Jonathan Baker as the Spiders’ career leader and did that with 5:27 left in the first half, fueling a game-breaking 15-5 run. He added four more before the night was over.
Baker, who was in attendance, made 241 from 1995-99.
Richmond coach Chris Mooney was delighted to see Anthony get the record, and for many reasons.
”He’s the most self-motivated player that I’ve been around,” Mooney said. ”In everything he does, he holds himself to an extremely high standard, as a student, as a player, as a captain. … He’s one of the few people that’s so much younger than you that you admire.”
The Wildcats were supposed to be a bigger threat from long range. They arrived averaging 10.9 3s per game, but managed just six on 22 tries. Scoring leader Jack Gibbs (16.3 ppg) finished 2 for 10 from the field and 1 of 5 from behind the arc, scored just seven points and watched much of the second half.
If it wasn’t over after halftime, the blitz to start the second half ended it shortly thereafter.
Cline had eight points and Allen seven as everything Richmond put up seemed to fall, and even as their defense on the perimeter kept the Wildcats from their usual array of open looks from long range.
Richmond shot 57 percent (31 of 54), the Wildcats just 40 percent (20 of 50).
The second half wasn’t all that much different than the first. Three-pointers by Kalinoski and Gibbs helped Davidson pull to within 24-16 with 7:33 to go, but Cline’s basket sparked a 15-5 run that featured two 3-pointers and eight points by Anthony.
The Spiders opened the game with a 22-8 run as Cline scored seven points, Allen had six and Anthony, Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and ShawnDre’ Jones all made 3-pointers, and Davidson struggled from the field. The Wildcats missed nine of their first 13 shots and were 1 for 9 on 3-pointers after 11 minutes.
Davidson: The Wildcats had a 31-12 advantage in the all-time series coming into the game.
Richmond: Richmond was playing less than 48 hours after a 72-70 2OT loss at George Washington.
Kendall Anthony’s seven 3-pointers were more than he has made in the last four games combined. He was 6 for 17 in his last four outings.
Davidson hosts Dayton on Tuesday night.
Richmond has six days off before playing at Dayton next Saturday.
Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr