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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
It wasn’t a work of art, but the Richmond Spartans were able to chalk up a 64-48 victory in the season opener Tuesday night against visiting Excelsior Springs. After a cold first period, the Spartans got the offense going in the second quarter to put away the visiting Tigers.
The Spartans survived a first-half free throw shooting contest. Richmond and Excelsior Springs combined to make 30 trips to the line in the first two periods with the Spartans converting 13 of their 19 attempts, while the Tigers could connect on only 5 of their 11. Richmond ended the night hitting 24 of 32 free throws, with the visitors making 6 of 13.
The Spartan free throw shooting helped make up for a tough night from the field. Richmond hit just 38 percent from the floor for the contest, and was 4 of 18 outside the arc.
Excelsior Springs held a 14-11 lead after one period as the Tigers scored the final 5 points of the quarter – 3 of those from the stripe. The visitors got an early bucket to begin the second frame before the Spartans went on a run that would carry them the rest of the way.
After the Tigers expanded their lead to 16-11, Richmond went on a 15-5 run to finish off the half.
Reid Summers, who ended the night with a game-high 27 points, spent most of the second quarter at the free throw line as he converted 6 of his 8 attempts to help key the Spartan surge.