Saint Francis (0-2,0-0 NEC): 98
Richmond (1-0,0-0 Atlantic 10): 100
Facing a 10-point deficit with 100 seconds remaining in regulation, the Spiders chances of securing a season-opening win vs Saint Francis were slim. But Richmond used a suffocating full-court press and a pair of three-pointers to rip off a 12-2 run to end the second half and outlasted the Red Flash in overtime for a 100-98 win Friday night at the Robins Center.
A corner three by newcomer Blake Francis, a junior transfer who last played for Wagner in 2017-18, cut the deficit to seven, and a deep three-pointer by Nick Sherod, playing in his first game since tearing his ACL last November, 15 seconds later shrunk Saint Francis’ lead to five.
Freshman Tyler Burton made it a one-possession game with just under a minute left when he stole the ball at halfcourt and sprinted to the hoop for a dunk to make the score 89-86.
Following a Red Flash free throw, Jacob Gilyard cut the lead to two with a driving layup. Moments later, he intercepted a Saint Francis pass and was fouled. Gilyard’s two free throws tied the game at 90, and Richmond’s defense held Saint Francis to a wild shot on the final possession of regulation to force overtime.
Neither team could get separation in the extra period as the Spiders and Red Flash traded baskets for the first four minutes. Richmond edged ahead 99-97 on a Nathan Cayo layup with 55 seconds remaining and took a three-point lead on a Gilyard free throw with 10 seconds remaining. The Spiders intentionally sent the Red Flash to the line with just under two seconds remaining and secured the win when Gilyard dribbled out the clock following a free-throw violation by the Red Flash when Keith Braxton’s second free-throw attempt, an intentional miss, failed to hit the rim.
“I knew we had to make a run,” said Sherod of the Spiders comeback in regulation. “At that point in the game it’s not really about running any plays or about doing anything special it’s about trying to go score and playing harder than them. We had been in this situation before against VCU a couple years ago so we knew we had a chance to come back. I think we showed some maturity as a team. We knew the guys we needed to get the ball to down the stretch to score.”
Sherod finished with a game-high 27 points in his first game since tearing his left ACL against Hampton on November 25 last season, 348 days prior to Friday.
“I’m so happy for Nick,” said coach Chris Mooney. “I’ve been telling people that I thought he was better than ever and right on cue he showed that. He played a tremendous game and not only did he have 27 points but he must have had three or four really big rebounds down the stretch.”
Sherod’s eight total rebounds were tied with Grant Golden for the most on the team. Gilyard added 24 points and a team-high eight assists for the Spiders , who won their season opener for the first time since 2016.
Richmond will look for its first 2-0 start 2013 Thursday night against Vanderbilt at the Robins Center. Tip time is 7 PM and the game will be shown on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN Plus.
Photos and Game Summary: Strong First Half Lifts Spiders to Victory
La Salle had no answers to Richmond’s defense but showed brief signs of life in the second half.
University of Richmond (15-4,5-1 Atlantic 10): 75
La Salle (10-8,1-5 Atlantic 10): 57
The University of Richmond had nine different players score including seven with five or more points as the Spiders recorded a 75-57 victory over visiting La Salle Wednesday night at the Robins Center. The win moved the Spiders to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference play heading into Saturday night’s showdown against No. 7 Dayton at home.
“I’m really pleased with the win and I thought we played exceptionally well defensively,” said coach Chris Mooney. “Our defense right from the beginning of the game made it tough on them to score. We contested shots. We rebounded well … I thought our defense throughout really won us the game.”
The 15-4 record marks the best record through 19 games to start a season since the 1987-88 campaign (16-3). Additionally, the Spiders are 5-1 through the first six games in A-10 play for the third time under head coach Chris Mooney and the first since 2016-17. The victory moves the Spiders to 9-1 at home this season.
Freshman Tyler Burton (Uxbridge, Mass.) recorded his second-straight double-figure scoring game in the victory, finishing the night with a career-high 14 points. Burton also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and added two steals and a block in the all-around performance.
“He’s got great basketball instincts,” said Mooney of Burton. “He’s a great athlete. He’s an all-around player. He rebounds well. I think he has a chance to be a special player.”
Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) added 15 points in only 17 minutes of action as he didn’t play a majority of the second half with the Spiders’ depth showing form. Golden connected on 6-of-6 from the field and was 3-of-5 from the free throw line in his limited action. He became the first Spider to take at least six shots from the field and make them all since Nathan Cayo went 7-7 on field goals at La Salle on February 23, 2019.
Sophomore guard Jake Wojcik (San Jose, Calif.) came off the bench and added 11 points in the second half as he connected on 3-of-4 from three-point range.
The Spiders came out of the gate and scored the game’s first 10 points, holding La Salle scoreless over the first 5:47 of the contest. Golden scored the game’s first four points while sophomore Matt Grace (Hamilton, Ontario) and Burton scored in the paint to cap the early run. Richmond extended its lead to 18-3 as junior guard Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.) converted a 4-point play and Golden once again scored in the post.
After La Salle regrouped to score the next eight points, junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) nailed a 3-pointer and the Spiders extended their lead to as many as 16 points. Richmond went into the locker room after the first 20 minutes with a 35-19 advantage as Burton led with 10 points off the bench to go along with five rebound in 11 minutes of play.
The Spiders controlled the play in the second half keeping the Explorers at bay and withstanding the La Salle pressure late in the game. Richmond finished the game shooting 60 percent (24-of-40) from the field in the victory while limiting the Explorers to just 33 percent (19-of-58) shooting. La Salle also struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just 12-of-21 (57 percent) from the stripe.
Next up for Richmond is 7th-ranked Dayton, who will become the highest-ranked team to visit the Robins Center in 14 years this Saturday. Tip time is scheduled for 6 PM and the game can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN Plus. The last time the Spiders hosted a top-7 team was February 18, 2006, when Richmond was defeated by #7 George Washington.
Richmond Flying Squirrels, COTU reveal ‘Richmond Rally Cap’ as new stadium beer
The new grapefruit shandy is set for release this spring as the season opens.
The votes have been tallied, and the new official beer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels will be called Richmond Rally Cap, the Flying Squirrels and Center of the University Brewing Company (COTU) in conjunction with Entercom Richmond announced on Tuesday. The new grapefruit shandy will be released across the region this spring and will be available at The Diamond during Flying Squirrels games all season.
Richmond Rally Cap was selected as the winning name from a group of four finalists submitted by fans.
“We work diligently to give fans new experiences each year, and thanks to our long-standing relationship with Center of the Universe, our new beer, Richmond Rally Cap, will be a new item not only at The Diamond but in markets, stores and restaurants all over the region,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We thank Center of the Universe for brewing this great beer, and we tip our Rally Cap to the 2020 season.”
Richmond Rally Cap, a light and crisp Weiss beer with thirst-quenching grapefruit flavor, will be brewed by Ashland-headquartered COTU. The Flying Squirrels and COTU previously partnered on the beer, Chin Music, for six years prior to its retirement in 2019.
“We are beyond excited to launch this new brand into market in the spring,” COTU co-founder Chris Ray said. “We had a great ride with Chin Music, but we felt it was time to switch it up and offer something a little different than what we have ever offered before. Cheers to a great Flying Squirrels season and a new official brew!”
Four name finalists were selected from hundreds of submissions made by fans in the fall, and Richmond Rally Cap was selected as the winner through fan voting in October.
The winning name was first submitted by Chris Owens, who will receive the grand prize featuring a Gold Book, which includes 40 undated tickets for the 2020 Flying Squirrels season, as well as official Richmond Rally Cap swag pack. Two additional winners, Chad James and Ray Edwards, will receive two field-level tickets for Opening Night on April 16, as well as a Richmond Rally Cap hat and T-shirt.
Fans will be able to enjoy Richmond Rally Cap at The Diamond beginning with the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 against the Bowie Baysox. Group packages, season tickets and partial-season plans for the 2020 Flying Squirrels season are currently available at SquirrelsBaseball.com.
Photos and Game Summary: Rams Bounce Back after Loss to Defeat St. Bonaventure
The man of the match was freshman guard Bones Hyland who sank 5-of-6 three-pointers and ended up with a career-high 21 points.
VCU (13-5,3-2 Atlantic): 91
St. Bonaventure (12-6,4-1 Atlantic): 63
The short story: Freshman guard Bones Hyland drained 5-of-6 three-pointers in the game and scored 17 of his career-high 21 points in the first half to lead the Rams to a decisive victory at the Siegel Center on Saturday afternoon. VCU Head Coach Mike Rhoades also earned the 300th win of his college career.
- Hyland would finish the contest with a career-high 21 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor, with eight rebounds and two assists
- Junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva earned his 13th career double-double with a performance that included 17 points and 11 rebounds
- Senior guard Issac Vann shot connected on 4-of-8 attempts from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range
- Freshmen Hason Ward and Jarren McAllister each provided eight points for the Rams
- St. Bonaventure forward Justin Winston and guard Jaren English led the Bonnies with 17 and 15 points, respectively
- Hyland buried a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes as VCU jumped out to an early lead it would not relinquish. VCU broke the game wide open later in the first half with an 18-0 run, sparked by a pair of buckets each from Hyland and sophomore guard KeShawn Curry
- The Rams connected on 7-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first half on the way to a 52-24 halftime lead
- VCU’s defense held St. Bonaventure to just 28 percent (10-of-35) shooting in the first half and 34 percent (24-of-69) for the entire contest
- The Rams dominated the paint, outscoring the Bonnies 48-30 in the lane. VCU also owned a 43-38 rebounding advantage
- Hyland’s 21 points were the most scored by a true freshman Terry Larrier’s 21 against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 20, 2014
- VCU’s 52 points in the opening period were its most in any half this season
- VCU’s bench outscored St. Bonaventure’s reserves 33-12
The Rams will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. on Tuesday, Jan. 21 to take on St. Joseph’s. The game is scheduled for a 9 p.m. tip and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.