PITTSBURGH - Sophomore Khwan Fore has made winning plays against George Washington his entire career. On Friday night, he made perhaps the biggest play yet in the game's final possession.
Fore stole the ball with the Spiders leading by one and hit a flying layin as time expired to give Richmond a 70-67 win over GW. The Spiders advanced to the Atlantic 10 semifinals and will face VCU on Saturday afternoon at 3:30.
The Spiders (20-11) gutted out an emotional March tournament game that featured 21 lead changes and no lead larger than six points. UR only allowed five turnovers while forcing 13 from GW. The Spiders grabbed more offensive rebounds than the taller Colonials and had a 10-8 advantage in second-chance points.
"I thought it was a really, really hard-fought game," head coach Chris Mooney said. "We played GW three times this year, and you know, they made some adjustments and played incredibly hard tonight. We were finally able to defend -- our numbers aren't good for the game, but we were finally able to defend, I thought like the last seven or eight minutes. Made some really big defensively plays. Obviously the one at the end being the most important."
Senior ShawnDre' Jones led Richmond with 19 points and three threes. Fore finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Nick Sherod knocked down three big threes to finish with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Tyler Cavanaugh scored a game-high 23 points for the Colonials including 13 in the first half.
Richmond tried to create separation with a jumper by Fore and then a steal from Fore and dunk from Buckingham to put the Spiders up 26-20 with seven minutes left in the first half. However, the Colonials responded to get the game tied at halftime, 34-34.
Sherod hit a pair of threes to push Richmond's lead back to six at the 10:55 mark, but the Colonials responded yet again to go up 52-51 just a minute later. The Spiders scored seven in a row with buckets from Jones, Johnson and Cline to build a 60-54 lead with 7:15 left and traded buckets with the Colonials through the final media timeout.
GW's Jordan Roland hit a three and then Jair Bolden hit a jumper with 42 seconds left to pull the Colonials to within one. After Richmond couldn't convert on the offensive end, GW had a chance to win with six seconds remaining. But Fore stole the ball at the top of the key and laid it in at the buzzer to give Richmond the 70-67 win.
Richmond has now recorded its fifth 20-win season since 2009. The Spiders have also won nine A-10 tournament games over that span.
Saturday's semifinal against VCU will air on CBS Sports Network at 3:30 p.m.