RICHMOND, Va. – Cedric Lindsay and his Richmond teammates have done it plenty — play well on the road, then fade in the closing minutes.
They did it again in their home city Wednesday night, losing 93-82 at No. 21 VCU.
"Every road game is hard to win," Lindsay said after leading the Spiders with 22 points. "We're not happy with keeping it close. We want to win, and we think we're going to win."
They had every reason to think they had a chance at the Siegel Center, particularly after Terry Allen swished a 3-pointer from the right corner to tie the game at 79 with 3:13 to go.
Then it all fell apart as VCU scored 11 consecutive points, and Richmond (17-13, 7-8 Atlantic 10) was on its way to its seventh loss in eight conference road games.
"Some of their really good players made really good plays," Spiders coach Chris Mooney said. "They played great. Their defense was great and tonight their offense was great too."
Treveon Graham scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, including the go-ahead basket with 2:58 to play, as the Rams avoided a sweep of the season series.
Juvonte Reddic added 16 points for the Rams (24-6, 12-3), who remained in control of at least the second seed in the conference tournament later this month.
Allen added 13 points and Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and Kendall Anthony had 11 each for Richmond.
Graham's driving basket broke the tie, and after a turnover by Lindsay in the lane, Reddic dunked for the Rams, bringing the sellout crowd in the Siegel Center to their feet. When Reddic scored again with 1:40 to play to make it 85-79, chants of "VCU! VCU!" broke out in unison.
The late surge prevented a repeat of the teams' meeting on Jan. 24 at Richmond, when the Spiders erased a seven-point deficit in the final 40 seconds, forcing overtime on a long 3-pointer by Darien Brothers in the final seconds, and then swamped the stunned Rams in overtime for an 86-74 victory.
This one was just as close until the final minutes.
Richmond trailed by six points early in the second half, but used a 14-4 run to open a 63-57 lead with 13:21 to play. The last eight points came in a span of 50 seconds on a 3-pointer by Brothers, Derrick Williams' stickback and, after a turnover by VCU, another 3-pointer by Nelson-Ododa.
The Rams responded with a 10-2 burst that featured a three-point play and rare 3-pointer by Theus, giving them a 67-65 lead with 9 1-2 minutes to play, and it remained a possession-by-possession game until Graham's drive put the Rams ahead, and they ran away for the double-digit victory.
Theus, playing his final home game at VCU, added 13 points and Rob Brandenburg had 12.
VCU closed the first half on a 13-4 run, getting four points each from Melvin Johnson and Theus and a 3-pointer from Brandenburg with 2 seconds left to take a 43-41 lead.
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