RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Derrick Williams felt like he had something to prove, and he did it — with his Richmond teammates on his back.
Williams matched his career high with 18 points and grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds as the Spiders dominated in the first half and cruised to a 76-65 victory against Temple on Saturday night.
"During the Charlotte game, I kind of relaxed and let the game come to me. Tonight I attacked it," the 6-foot-6, 285-pound sophomore said, referring to the Spiders' loss in their Atlantic 10 Conference opener on Jan. 4. In the game at Charlotte, he was scoreless with two rebounds in 18 minutes.
Owls coach Fran Dunphy would have preferred to see the same Williams in his third straight loss at the Robins Center.
"I thought Derrick Williams was great in the first half with second-chance opportunities," Dunphy said. "He was absolutely a beast in the first half. We got ourselves in a big world of hurt in the first half."
Darien Brothers scored 19 to lead the Spiders (11-7, 2-1), who used a combination of dominance inside led by Williams and Darrius Garrett, and the 3-point shooting of Brothers and Kendall Anthony to take command. Richmond had runs of 10-1 and 10-0 in the first half to open its biggest lead — 44-25 — at halftime.
"I've been on the other side and it's hard to get control of a game when things are going so well for the other team," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. The Spiders finished 8-for-18 on 3-pointers with Brothers and Anthony each hitting four.
Khalif Wyatt had 22 points and Ramone Moore 17 for Temple (11-5, 1-2), which led only after scoring the game's first basket.
Williams gave Richmond the lead with the first of three three-point opportunities in the half, and Richmond never looked back.
"What really surprises people is how quick he is," Cedric Lindsay said of Williams. "When he catches the ball inside, we expect him to score."
The Owls gradually played their way back into it after halftime. A 6-0 run pulled them to 53-42 with 13 minutes to go, but Williams scored in the lane for the Spiders and Lindsay hit a free throw to rebuild the lead to 56-42, and the Owls never made it interesting again.
Anthony added 15 points and Lindsay 11 for Richmond. Garrett had 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
The Spiders' lead was back up to 63-49 when Temple had its night in a nutshell.
Aaron Brown stole the ball near midcourt for the Owls and headed in for a dunk. But Richmond's Greg Robbins was right with him, and when Brown went up to dunk, he banged the ball off the back off the rim. Moments later, Brothers' fourth 3-pointer made it 63-49.
Juan Fernandez, the Owls third-leading scorer with a 12-point average, missed his first nine shots before connecting with 10:54 to play. It was his only field goal of the game in 11 attempts, and helped greatly as the Owls shot just 36.7 percent (22-60).
"He's pressing. He knows that he's not playing great," Dunphy said of the shooter who had burned the Spiders in the past.
The Spiders led throughout the first half and began to separate themselves with a 10-1 run that gave them a 25-14 lead. Brothers and Anthony hit back-to-back 3s in the burst, and the 5-foot-8 Anthony finished with a basket in the lane.
Temple used a 6-2 run to get within seven, but two free throws by Brothers started a 10-0 run for the Spiders. Anthony hit consecutive 3-pointers — from the left wing and the right corner — and Lindsay followed with a steal and fed Garrett for a huge dunk on a breakaway.
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