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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.

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University of Richmond (15-4,5-1 Atlantic 10): 75
La Salle (10-8,1-5 Atlantic 10): 57

Box Score

Official UR Game Summary:

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.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Richmond Flying Squirrels looking to recognize community all-stars making a difference during pandemic

The Squirrels are partnering with Elephant Insurance to recognize individuals in the area making a positive difference.

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels and Elephant Insurance have launched the Community All-Star of the Week program, and they are turning to fans for help in finding nominees. The Flying Squirrels want to recognize members of the local community, such as healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers, helping to ease the impacts of COVID-19.

The program is open to nominations of anyone who is making a positive impact around the greater-Richmond community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nominations can be submitted here.

“While there is no action on the field at the moment, there are plenty of All-Stars working in our community keeping us safe and healthy,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We appreciate Elephant Insurance joining in our program to showcase these Community All-Stars with this great program. Stay positive and we hope to be back together soon physically. In the meantime, we will continue to do all we can to bring our fans and community together any way we possibly can.”

“We really value our partnership with the Flying Squirrels and we are proud to support the team’s efforts to recognize our local heroes and support local businesses during this time,” said Alberto Schiavon, CEO of Elephant Insurance.  “This is a fun way that we can work together to give back to deserving community members and we’re looking forward to the weeks ahead.” 

The selected Community All-Stars will be recognized across the Flying Squirrels’ social media channels, and they will be presented with a gift card to a local restaurant as well as a Flying Squirrels prize pack.

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Sports Backers announce new ‘Firecracker 4-Miler’ virtual event in celebration of Independence Day

To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in a fun and active way, Sports Backers has announced the new Firecracker 4-Miler, a virtual event that includes a variety of Independence Day-themed participant items and aims to make social distancing feel not quite as isolating.

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To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in a fun and active way, Sports Backers has announced the new Firecracker 4-Miler, a virtual event that includes a variety of Independence Day-themed participant items and aims to make social distancing feel not quite as isolating. Registration is now open at www.sportsbackers.org.

To take part in the Firecracker 4-Miler, participants simply register, then run or walk four miles whenever they like (remembering to follow social distancing guidelines). Sports Backers will send the participant items to each registrant, and to guarantee delivery by Independence Day, participants must be registered by June 19. Each participant will receive the following items:

  • Official Firecracker 4-Miler tank top or t-shirt
  • Independence Day-themed finisher medal/bottle opener
  • Firecracker 4-Miler Koozie
  • Firecracker 4-Miler Race Bib
  • Printable Finisher Certificate
  • Virtual Event Badge

“We are always looking for fun and creative ways for people to stay active and this virtual event is a great way to do that,” said Meghan Keogh, Event Director for Sports Backers. “We know that people love to get creative with their Independence Day festivities and this provides a chance to celebrate in a unique and active way.”

The Firecracker 4-Miler is now the third virtual event Sports Backers has created in response to restrictions on large events and gatherings related to COVID-19, after the Taco Trot 5k in early May, which had over 1,700 registered participants, and the Great American 5000 virtual team run across America, which has already drawn more than 90 teams since launching on May 14.

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Belmont Golf Course renovations in motion in Lakeside

Site work started in early May as part of a $5 million project to revive Henrico County’s landmark public golf course in Lakeside.

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Site work started in early May as part of a $5 million project to revive Henrico County’s landmark public golf course in Lakeside.

The Board of Supervisors approved a 20-year lease in December, allowing The First Tee of Greater Richmond to upgrade and operate the facility. The agreement ensures Belmont will remain affordable and accessible to the community while freeing the county from operating losses due to years of declining play.

“We’re just thrilled to see the project move forward,” said Neil Luther, director of Henrico’s Division of Recreation and Parks. “The last thing we wanted to see was to have the lease take effect and the property sit fallow for months and months on end because of the COVID-19 shutdown.

“With work underway, it’s evident that the project is moving forward and will be done this time next year.”

Belmont is being restored in the tradition of architect A.W. Tillinghast, who designed the course – then-known as Hermitage Country Club – in 1917. It hosted the 1949 PGA Championship, which was won by Virginian Sam Snead.

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Under its new design, Belmont will feature 12 championship holes created by restoring existing holes 7 through 18. Holes 5 through 6 will be converted into a 35,000-square-foot putting course plus a six-hole, par-3 “short course.” Each hole will range from 80 to 170 yards and be based on Tillinghast holes throughout the country.

Existing holes 1 through 4 will be turned into a driving range, wedge range and short-game practice area. The project also includes an upgraded pro shop, improved concessions and space for youth programs.

“The course, when it comes back, is going to be brand new in terms of quality,” Luther said.

Brent Schneider, CEO of The First Tee of Greater Richmond, envisions Belmont being an inclusive place “where the history of American golf meets the future of American golf.” The nonprofit is a chapter of The First Tee, a national organization that promotes youth participation in golf and values, such as honesty and integrity.

“Our vision is to strengthen the character of our community, and we feel like, with this property, we’re going to be able to do that,” Schneider said.

“Whether you’ve been playing all your life or you’re brand new and want to come try it out, there’s an entry point at this facility for everyone,” he added.

The First Tee of Greater Richmond expects to invest $4.25 million in Belmont, with Henrico contributing $750,000 previously set aside for course improvements.

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Established in 1998, The First Tee of Greater Richmond operates the Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course in Chesterfield County and the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range in Richmond.

The group enlisted MacCurrach Golf and Love Golf Design as the contractor and architect, respectively, for Belmont. The first phase of work is focusing on restoring the championship holes, with renovated greens, improved bunkers and better drainage and irrigation.

Scot Sherman, lead architect with Love Golf Design, said the underground systems will be “light years beyond what was here before.”

“You see the turf. You see the bunkers, but you don’t often see what’s underneath,” he said.

With its improvements, Belmont will be designed to challenge experienced golfers and nurture the next generation of players. In addition to the community, the facilities will be available to Henrico’s high school golf teams, the Henrico Police Athletic League and other community groups.

“This is obviously a historic golf course, but there wasn’t a lot of variety here,” said Mark Love, a principal with Love Golf Design. “There wasn’t an opportunity to hit balls on the driving range and take lessons. All of the programing that First Tee does involves all aspects of the game. I think the kids have an opportunity to learn in a nonintimidating environment and work their way up to the bigger golf course, and I think that’s a great opportunity.”

The First Tee of Greater Richmond detailed its plans and answered questions from the community in a presentation delivered in March via YouTube due to the coronavirus.

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