Rhythm's reserves get best of BayRunners

94 points from bench carry Richmond, 101-91

February 21, 2000|By Bob Dolgan | Bob Dolgan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

RICHMOND, Va. -- The BayRunners played well yesterday against the Richmond Rhythm's starting five. It was Richmond's second unit that sent Baltimore to a 101-91 loss before 1,805 at Richmond Coliseum.

Kendrick Warren came off the bench to score 26 points, and fellow sub Larry Robinson added 25, as the Rhythm's bench totaled 94 points. Warren was playing his first game since injuring his knee three weeks ago.

"We knew that Robinson and [Jerod] Ward were great additions for them," Baltimore coach Terry Truax said. "Kendrick Warren was no surprise. I just wish he could've waited one more game [to return]."

Rhythm coach Ralph Sampson pulled his starting five early in both halves. The game was tied after the first half, but the Rhythm's starters allowed the BayRunners to score the first 10 points of the third quarter, and Baltimore held Richmond without a basket for the first 6: 57. Richmond's starters were replaced early in the first quarter after allowing the BayRunners a 12-point lead.

"They've got to learn to play everyday," Sampson said. "I've got to find a group to start for us and play hard everyday."

Richmond harried Baltimore into 9-of-31 shooting (29 percent) in the second half and outscored the BayRunners 32-12 in the fourth quarter. The Rhythm crept to 2 1/2 games behind the BayRunners for the final playoff spot in the International Basketball League's East Division.

"We became a little tentative and didn't make Richmond play defense," Truax said. "We settled for perimeter shots, and they got easy shots on the other end."

Richmond held Baltimore without a field goal for the first 8: 18 of the final quarter. Robinson scored 10 as Richmond built a 91-83 lead by the 4: 56 mark. Two free throws by Rodney Elliott trimmed the Rhythm's lead to 94-88 with 1: 32 to go. But Warren's free throw and a basket by Ward pushed Richmond's lead to 97-88 with 33.6 seconds remaining.

Elliott led the BayRunners with 22 points, and Anthony Tucker added 12. Shawnta Rogers had 11. Jason Miskiri added 17 points for Richmond and Ward 16.

"They have good players one through 12," Elliott said. "That's a sign of a good team."

BayRunners 26 28 25 12 -- 91

Richmond 20 34 15 32 -- 101

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