CINCINNATI -- Quick halftime thoughts from Cintas Center, where Xavier leads No. 24 Richmond 38-34:
It was a back and forth first half with six lead changes, but Xavier ended the half with a 9-2 run. Richmond's shot-blocking big man Darrius Garrett picked up two fouls in the first 97 seconds and didn't play again. His replacement, Dan Geriot, got his second foul with 11:03 left.Despite the lack of a post presence, the Spiders stayed in the game with three-point shooting, hitting eight of their first 13 attempts beyond the arc. The Musketeers were just 3-for-11 from three.
The matchup of arguably the best two guards in the Atlantic 10 is one-sided so far. Crawford has 14 points on an array of jump shots, drives and pull-ups. Richmond leading scorer Kevin Anderson, on the other hand, was held scoreless on just four field-goal attempts, though he does have four assists. Xavier's defense on him has been terrific, but Anderson needs to get going in the second half for the Spiders to get this road win.
Richmond coach Chris Mooney was upset with the officiating the entire half and pleaded his case again before going into the locker room. Xavier has shot six free throws to none by the Spiders.
The Spiders came into the game ranked 12th in the nation in field goal percentage defense, but Xavier shot 57.7 percent in that first half. Really, if it weren't for the three-point barrage, the Musketeers should be up by double digits.