Sunday, December 09, 2007

Spiders can't stop Maynor

Eric Maynor (No. 3) drives past Kevin Anderson (No. 14) for a layup

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Richmond led VCU by six points on the Rams Siegel Center home floor. Then VCU’s flashy junior point guard, Eric Maynor, took over what had been up to that point an ugly, mistake-ridden game at both ends of the floor. He shot three times to score eight points, putting the Rams ahead by one at the intermission.

“We got a little too anxious, “ Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said of his team’s play during that stretch.

Maynor then scored the first six points of the second half. Most in the sellout crowd of 7,530 made their approval abundantly apparent, as the Rams never looked back: VCU 65, Richmond 45.

By the time of the final horn, Maynor had poured in 25 points. He led all scorers. It wasn’t that he played flawlessly, because that wasn’t the case. But when he wanted to, it seemed Maynor could swell up to take control of the floor and the air space over it. Just as the mighty Duke Blue Devils were last March in that NCAA tournament game, last night the one-step-too-slow Spiders were clearly at a loss to do anything about it.

“His [Maynor’s] will to win is contagious on our team,” said VCU head coach Anthony Grant.

Richmond’s freshman point guard, Kevin Anderson, scored 10 points, to pace the Spiders attack. The Spiders shot a miserable 29.4 percent from the field, misfiring on 16 of the 20 shots they attempted in the second half. Credit the Rams swarming defense for that.

After claiming their third victory in seven days, the Rams (6-3) have a week to catch their breath and savor beating the Spiders. VCU’s overall advantage in the cross-town rivalry now stands at 38-24.

Richmond (4-6) will play ODU (5-4) at the Robins Center on Wed., Dec. 12. Next up, VCU will host Longwood (2-9) on Sat., Dec 15, at the Siegel Center.

-- Words and photo by F.T. Rea

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