March 17, 2011
DENVER -- Richmond added another upset to an NCAA tournament resume that already has several.
And Vanderbilt exited early -- again.
Kevin Anderson scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, including a game-sealing floater with 18.7 seconds remaining, to lift 12th-seeded Richmond to a 69-66 win over No. 5 seed Vanderbilt on Thursday in the Southwest regional.
The Spiders (28-7) sprang the second upset of the day at Pepsi Center after tiny Morehead State, the 13th seed, used a 3-pointer by Demonte Harper in the waning seconds to upset fourth-seeded Louisville, 62-61, in the early game.
But while Morehead State players fell on the floor, writhing in the celebration, the Spiders simply shook hands and walked to the locker room. This hardly counts as a shocker, especially considering the Spiders' history in March.
Richmond beating an Auburn team led by Charles Barkley during the 1984 NCAA tournament and picked off second-seeded Syracuse in 1991.
This is the Spiders' first tournament win since they beat South Carolina in 1998 as a No. 14 seed, but the reputation has been cemented.
Maybe that's why this win didn't seem like all that big of surprise for the Atlantic-10 champions, who were only a three-point underdog to the Commodores of the Southeastern Conference.
Justin Harper added 13 points and Francis-Cedric Martel contributed 12 as the Spiders won their eighth straight game.
Vanderbilt had a chance to tie with 2.5 seconds left, but Rod Odom's desperation heave was nowhere near the hoop as time expired.
So much for the Commodores (23-11) vanquishing their tournament demons. They have now stumbled in their last three appearances in the NCAA, also losing to No. 13 seed Murray State on a last-second shot last season and falling to Siena, another 13th seed, in 2008.
They thought this could be the squad to end the drought.
But they ran into a team with a penchant for upsets. The Commodores also hurt themselves by never finding an answer for Anderson, who made 4 of 9 from 3-point range to take control of the second half.
Vanderbilt big man Festus Ezeli and John Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer, each finished with 21 points.