Denver roundup

March 18, 2011

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Richmond 69, Vanderbilt 66 Kevin Anderson scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, including a game-sealing floater with 18.7 seconds remaining, to lift the 12th-seeded Spiders to an impressive upset of the No. 5 seed Commodores in the Southwest regional at the Pepsi Center.

Justin Harper added 13 points and Francis-Cedric Martel contributed 12 as the Spiders (28-7) won their eighth straight game.

“A very gutty effort by our team,’’ Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. “I thought our poise and veteran leadership really showed through in this 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.

The Commodores hurt themselves by never finding an answer for Anderson, who made 4 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half.

Vanderbilt big man Festus Ezeli and John Jenkins, the SEC’s leading scorer, each finished with 21 points.

Trailing 48-39 early in the second half, the Spiders worked their way back into the game behind the shooting of Anderson, who hit three straight 3-pointers during a 12-0 run to give Richmond a 51-48 lead.

Gonzaga 86, St. John’s 71 Marquise Carter scored a career-high 24 points, lifting the 11th-seeded Bulldogs (25-9) past the sixth-seeded Red Storm and earning a Southeast regional showdown with BYU.

Gonzaga used its size and strength to muscle around the Red Storm (21-12), who were back in the tournament for the first time since 2002. Gonzaga outrebounded St. John’s, 43-20.

The Red Storm weren’t the same team without top rebounder and team leader D.J. Kennedy, who tore his right ACL during the Big East tournament.

Dwight Hardy led the St. John’s with 26 points, while Justin Brownlee added 14. Sean Evans, who filled in for Kennedy, had 4 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The Bulldogs are hardly strangers to the tournament now, making their 13th straight appearance. They utilized their vast experience, taking their first lead on a 3-pointer by Elias Harris at the 15:14 mark of the first half and never really looking back.

Seven-footer Robert Sacre was a force down low for Gonzaga, scoring 9 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Steven Gray added 16 and Harris finished with 15.

BYU 74, Wofford 66 Jimmer Fredette, the nation’s leading scorer, dropped in 32 points to lead the third-seeded Cougars past the Terriers.

Fredette went 10 for 25, made 12 trips to the free throw line and added seven assists to help the Cougars win their school-record 31st game.

“I didn’t shoot the ball great but I was pleased with my effort and my ability to control the game and get my teammates involved,’’ he said.

The 14th-seeded Terriers (21-13) lost in the first round for the second straight year, but as they did in a 4-point loss to Wisconsin in 2010, they gave BYU (31-4) quite a game. BYU played with a 6- or 8-point lead for most of the second half and never turned it into the blowout that many of these 3 vs. 14 matchups can be.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.