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Friday night recap: Lehigh upsets Mississippi State, Richmond gives Maryland a scare, and Gonzaga gets by Florida

Feast Week is coming to a close

NCAA Basketball: Barclays Center Classic-Maryland vs Richmond Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, Greg told us all about how we have to start paying attention to Lehigh. On Friday, the Mountain Hawks made him look smart by taking down Mississippi State on the road.

Lehigh shot 52 percent for the game, including 11-26 from three, led by Kyle Leufroy and Kahron Ross, who poured scored 18 points apiece. The Mountain Hawks played the Bulldogs close for much of the first half before using a 15-3 run to take control, going into the break with a 38-29 lead.

Lehigh continues a three-game road swing on Sunday with a visit to Arkansas State, who already boasts a win over Georgetown.

But the Mountain Hawks weren’t the only team to come up with a huge win on Thursday. Here’s a look at the rest of the action.

Richmond falls to Maryland in overtime

The Spiders held a commanding lead for much of the first half and for a while, it looked like they would coast to an upset win over the Terrapins at the Barclays Center Classic.

Richmond had an answer to every Maryland run in the second half. When Maryland went on a 10-2 run in the second half to take a five-point lead, ShawnDre’ Jones keyed a run to put the Spiders back ahead, 63-60, with 4:25 to go.

The teams went back-and-forth from there and headed to overtime tied at 70.

Then, Maryland took over. Melo Trimble scored six of his 31 points in the overtime period as the Terrapins held on for an 88-82 win.

For Richmond, Jones scored 23 points in 43 minutes and TJ Cline had 18 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists to narrowly miss a triple-double. The Spiders face Boston College at 7 p.m. on Friday in the consolation game.

Because I was there, take a look at head coach Chris Mooney’s comments after the game:

Gonzaga comes from behind to beat Florida

The Bulldogs defeated the Gators, 77-72, in the Advocare Invitational semifinals on Friday behind 18 points from Josh Perkins and Johnathan Williams. Gonzaga will face Iowa State in the tournament championship game Friday afternoon.

Though Florida led for most of the game, Silas Melson scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half to bring the Bulldogs back into it.

Gonzaga is now 8-0 all-time at the Advocare Invitational and now has two quality wins on its resume headed into Friday’s game against the 21st-ranked Cyclones. So far this season, the Bulldogs have been among the nation’s best in each of KenPom’s offensive and defensive categories, further making their case for a top-10 ranking.

Rhode Island holds off Belmont

In an under-the-radar matchup, the Rams held off a late run from the Bruins to win, 82-73, in Kingston.

Rhode Island led by 20 with 15:44 to play, but it took just four minutes for Belmont to go on a 17-3 run and pull within six.

That was as close as Belmont would get, however, as Rhode Island responded to quickly go back up by double digits.

EC Matthews scored just six points in the win, but the Rams were buoyed by 31 points from Hassan Martin on 14-20 shooting and 23 more from Jarvis Garrett.

Belmont is now just 1-3 on the season, but each of those three losses came to KenPom top-75 teams (Vanderbilt, Florida, and Rhode Island).

Hartford almost upsets Rutgers

Off to its best start in decades, it seemed only fitting that Rutgers’ unbeaten run to open the season would come to an end at the hands of one of the nation’s worst teams. For a while, it looked like that would happen as Hartford played the Scarlet Knights close the entire way.

With the score tied at 75, CJ Gettys made the game-winning layup with six seconds to go to help the Scarlet Knights improve to 6-0 on the young season.

Other results of note:

  • Florida Gulf Coast beat Long Beach State, 68-67 in overtime. What began as a promising season for the 49ers has spiraled into a 1-7 start.
  • Old Dominion beat St. John’s, 63-55, in the seventh-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • VCU beat LSU in the fifth-place game, 85-74, and Wichita State fell to Michigan State, 77-72, in the third-place game.
  • Dayton got back on track at the Wooden Legacy, defeating Portland, 84-74.