South Alabama (5-4,0-0 Sun Belt): 57
Richmond (8-1,0-0 Atlantic 10): 75
Sparked by stellar perimeter shooting and a balanced offensive attack, the Richmond Spiders turned a small halftime lead into second-half rout against South Alabama on Sunday, defeating the Jaguars 75-57 to remain perfect on their home court this season.
“I felt our defense was terrific. Disruptive but also very sound,” head coach Chris Mooney remarked. “On offense, I thought we did a good job of moving the ball, especially in the second half.”
Facing a zone for the first time this season, the Spiders scored 46 points after intermission to improve to 8-1, their best record through nine games since 1985.
The game started with Richmond welcoming back Grant Golden and Nathan Cayo to the frontcourt. The forwards duo both missed the Spiders win over Hampton Tuesday with ankle injuries, and Golden missed Richmond’s win over Boston College last Saturday.
A three-pointer from Nick Sherod and a mid-range turnaround by Golden started the Spiders scoring output during an uncertain open for Richmond’s offense, as the team trailed 8-5 following the game’s opening five minutes. After going through a small stretch of missed shots, two strong post moves from Golden and a finish by Cayo gave Richmond a 16-11 lead with 9:34 remaining in the first half. South Alabama continued to defend aggressively, causing multiple missed field goals, and ultimately took a three-point lead with a 10-2 run before Golden again scored down low. A triple from Blake Francis and another Cayo layup put Richmond back in front, as the Spiders entered the halftime break up 29-24.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Jacob Gilyard made consecutive three-pointers at the start of the second half. Golden then found Cayo under the rim for a layup, resulting in Richmond’s first double-digit lead of the day. The Spiders then caught fire from distance and upped their lead to 51-36 with 12:39 to play. Francis again connected on a three-pointer from the corner two minutes later to put his team ahead by 20 as Richmond made its first eight three-points attempts of the second half. Two nice dunks, the latter being off of an alley-oop, by Andre Gustavson got his Richmond teammates and fans on their feet; essentially putting the exclamation point on another dominant home victory.
Sherod posted a near double-double of 17 points and nine rebounds for Richmond, while Francis and Gilyard had 15 points each. Gilyard also contributed eight rebounds and seven assists. Golden finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and six assists in his return to the floor.
Richmond has won three straight and is now 6-0 at home this season and 3-0 all-time versus South Alabama.
The Spiders return back to the Robins Center on Saturday to take on Charleston. Tip time is set for 5 p.m and the game will be televised on NBCSN.
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.