Richmond and Wake Forest may be one of the most under-the-radar rivalries in college hoops; but it's always a good one. The rivalry has been a home and home alternating series for year and dates all the way back to 1920 with the Demon Deacons holding the all-time advantage at 39-12 coming into Sunday afternoon's game. Despite the longterm history the short term results were in the Spiders corner winning three out of the last four contest. Sunday's game was just another gem in a rivalry that should be perking college basketball fan's ears up from here on out.
Richmond came into the game riding a four game winning streak since inserting T.J. Cline into the starting line up a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile Wake Forest was a team looking to find their stride heading into ACC play after a series of close wins and losses throughout the season, including a terrible loss on their home floor to Delaware State.
It was Cline who kept the Spiders in the game in the first half as Wake Forest marched into halftime with a 33-25 advantage.
Although Cline had a great night with 22 points, it was Kendall Anthony who willed the Spiders back in the game. A hoop and the harm conversion put Richmond up at 49-46 with just over 6:45 to play to give the Spiders their first lead since the opening moments of the game.
Anthony continued to be a monster down the stretch finishing with 21 points, 11 of which came after that free throw that gave the Spiders a three point advantage. Chris Mooney's squad looked like they actually had the game wrapped up whenn Terry Allen nailed two free throws to give the Spiders a four point lead with 40 seconds left.
First year head coach Danny Manning had other thoughts for the Demon Deacons though as he made a critical late substitution taking out Campbell transfer Dairus Leonard for big man Konstantinos Mitoglou. The sub was a bit perplexing at first because the way Leonard can stretch the floor but it was Mitoglou who made a huge three to cut the lead to just one.
Terry Allen looked like he was going to be the hero again after a breakaway dunk to take the lead back to three but Codi Miller-McIntyre would nail a straightaway three to tie the game. ShawnDre' Jones missed on the offensive end and allowed Miller-McIntyre to throw up a prayer to win the game. Miller-McIntyre missed but Devin Thomas was there ala Lorenzo Charles to tip the ball in and hand Richmond their first home loss of the year.
The win will certainly provide some momentum for Manning's team as they look to close non-conference play Wednesday against Princeton. Meanwhile, Richmond will look for some redemption during a New Years Eve tilt of their own against CAA favorite Northeastern.