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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Richmond 69, Vanderbilt 66

By Diamond Leung

DENVER -- Richmond’s Kevin Anderson scored 25 points and had four assists to lead the No. 12-seeded Spiders to a 69-66 upset win against Vanderbilt. His fadeaway with 18.9 seconds left gave Richmond a three-point lead. Rod Odom's 3-point attempt at the buzzer wasn’t close as Vanderbilt lost for the third time in four years in its first game of the NCAA tournament. John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli led the Commodores with 21 points apiece.

Turning point: Anderson hit an amazing shot with 3:01 left, crossing over Jeffery Taylor and then shot faking him the other way to hit a leaner as he was being fouled. Anderson missed the ensuing free throw, but the shot extended the lead to three and gave everyone the idea that he was not going to be stopped.

Key player: It’s Anderson, of course. Besides the 25 points, he committed only one turnover and shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range.

Key stat: Richmond finished the game with only three turnovers, running its Princeton-style offense. Vanderbilt had only seven turnovers, but it was tough to match up against Richmond’s efficiency.

Miscellaneous: Richmond managed to come back from an 11-point first-half deficit. The Spiders managed to survive at the end even after Anderson and Darrius Garrett missed critical free throws in the last five seconds of the game. Vanderbilt had 2.5 seconds to attempt a final shot, but Odom had trouble going over the 6-foot-10 Harper.

What’s next: Richmond moves on to face Morehead State for the right for one of these Cinderellas to go to the Sweet 16.