Texas Tech pulled away from Richmond in the second half, dominating on the interior for a 79-72 win. The Spiders dropped to .500 on the season with the loss.
Zach Smith had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Red Raiders, while Devon Thomas also scored 17 of his own.
This game was a back-and-forth affair, with swings in momentum throughout the first stanza.
Richmond struggled at times with its defensive communication, especially in its matchup 2-3 zone, which led to high-percentage baskets by the Red Raiders on hard cuts and excellent passing.
A career night for freshmen guard De’Monte Buckingham ignited Richmond's offense in the first half. He went 4-of-4 from the field for 13 points and finished with 16. The use of perimeter shooting was clutch and helped mask an off game from TJ Cline.
Cline did convert on a layup with 13:12 remaining to cut the Richmond deficit to 52-49, but the Spiders did not score again for nearly eight minutes. It was part of a 22-4 Red Raider run that helped them build a 15-point lead.
The Red Raiders continued to pound the points in the paint, outscoring the Spiders 46-22 for the game. Their size and athleticism on the interior posed challenges for the Spiders through out the contest.
A late surge by Richmond showed their toughness and will to compete, but it was too late to mount the comeback.
The Spiders have offensive potential, as four players scored in double figures, paced by Khwan Fore’s 19-point seven-assist performance. Shawndre’ Jones showed his ability to stretch the floor as a deep threat connecting on four three-point baskets.
Going forward, Richmond will need to turn things around for Atlantic 10 play. Don't expect Cline to be as quiet as he was offensively on a regular basis, which will improve their offensive efficiency come conference play.
The Spiders go on the road to James Madison and Oral Roberts next, giving them time to clean up their shot selection, execution, rebounding, and defensive lapses before they enter league play.
A scary moment for Richmond freshmen Grant Golden, who collapsed as he was running up the floor in the first half. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. The Richmond staff stated that Golden was alert and responsive after being escorted off the court on a stretcher to the locker room.