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Flames Fall to Spiders in Season Opener

November 9, 2012
|  Richmond, Va.
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Flames guard John Caleb Sanders

The Liberty men's basketball team opened its 2012-13 season on the road, Friday night, squaring off with Atlantic 10 member Richmond. The Flames looked to avenge last season's 77-61 defeat, but the Spiders had other plans. Richmond was able to convert 18 Liberty turnovers into 30 points on the opposite end and did not look back en route to the 84-42 victory inside the Robins Center.

Darien Brothers paced the Spiders' offense with 19 points, followed by Cedrick Lindsay (12) and Kendall Anthony (11). In his Liberty debut, point guard Davon Marshall led the Flames with 12 tallies.

Richmond shot 49.2 percent (29-of-59) from the field, including 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from three-point land. The Flames concluded the contest with 26.0 percent shooting (13-of-50). Liberty's point total is the team's lowest since posting 41 against Old Dominion on Nov. 19, 2009.

With the loss, Liberty begins the year 0-1, while the Spiders start the season 1-0. Richmond improves to 3-1 all-time against Liberty. The Spiders' 42 margin of victory against the Flames is its largest in the head-to-head series.

The Spiders opened the contest with a 12-0 burst. Richmond's run during the five and a half minute span included a trio of three-pointers, two from Brothers and another by Sparrow. Marshall gave Liberty its first points of the season, nailing a trey of his own at 14:01.

A Spiders free throw and a third Brothers three-pointer gave the home team a 13-point lead. A Chad Donley layup chipped at the deficit, but Brothers countered with his fourth long range jumper of the contest at the 10:30 mark, giving Richmond a 19-5 advantage.

Richmond extended its lead in the latter portion of the first half, taking advantage of the Flames' miscues. During the ensuing 6:24, Liberty received baskets from Tavares Speaks, Jarred Jourdan and JR Coronado.

With the Spiders holding a 21-point advantage, its largest of the half, Donley swished a three-pointer at the 2:03 mark to make it an 18-point game. Richmond did not allow the Flames to climb any closer in the period, taking a 41-21 lead into the locker room.

Brothers led all scorers at halftime with 14 tallies on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, including a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range. Derrick Williams was strong on the board for the Spiders in the opening 20 minutes, finishing with seven.

Jourdan, Marshall and Donley paced Liberty's offense with five points apiece in the first half. The Spiders shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field in the first half, while holding Liberty to 33.3 percent (9-of-27).

The Flames began the second half with four unanswered points from Marshall and Jourdan, holding the Spiders scoreless for the first 2:23. However, Richmond responded with a 9-0 surge off baskets by Gregg Robbins, Kendall Anthony and Brothers to boost its margin to 25. Marshall halted the run with a three-pointer at 15:48 to make it a 22-point game, 50-28.

Richmond widened the gap during the next 10:23, outscoring the Flames, 25-7. A free throw by Trey Davis made it 76-35 with 4:59 remaining. Liberty received a quartet of free throws form John Caleb Sanders and a trey by Casey Roberts down the stretch. Richmond kept the Flames at bay, ultimately setting up the 84-42 final.

Liberty makes its Vines Center debut on Monday versus William & Mary. The Flames hold a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series after splitting a pair of contests with the Tribe last season. The contest is part of Liberty's Fan Fest event, with admission free to the general public. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.