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Photos and Game Summary: Spiders Dominate Rams

The Spiders took the lead shortly after tip-off and never looked back.

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UR (19-6,9-3 Atlantic 10): 77
VCU (17-8,7-5 Atlantic 10): 59

Box Score

Official UR Game Summary

All five starters scored in double figures and Richmond men’s basketball never trailed in a dominating 77-59 win over VCU Saturday evening in front of a sold out crowd at the Robins Center in the Lumber Liquidators Capital City Classic. The 18-point margin of victory tied the largest for the Spiders in their 85 all-time meetings vs VCU.

“This was a big game and I thought we rose to the moment and met the opportunity head-on.” said head coach Chris Mooney. The victory moves the Spiders to 19-6 on the season and 9-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference. The 19-6 record is the Spiders best after 25 games since 2010-11 while the 9-3 start moves Richmond into sole possession of third place in the A-10.

Junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) scored a game-high 23 points while adding eight rebounds. Sherod connected on 5-of-7 from three-point range, including hitting his first four from distance. Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) added 15 points and 10 rebounds while also dishing out six assists in the all-around performance.

Golden connected on seven of his 11 field goal attempts, helping the Spiders shoot 50 percent (29-of-58) from the field in the victory. Richmond also shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from three-point land on the night, led by Sherod’s five and four threes from redshirt junior guard Blake Francis (Herndon, Va.).

The Spiders came out of the gate on fire, led by Sherod who scored nine of the Spiders’ first 11 points as Richmond opened an 11-4 lead. Sherod would go on to hit his first four three-pointers of the game as the Spiders used a 20-7 run to open to a 33-16 lead 14 minutes into the game.

Richmond hit three-straight three-pointers to close out the run, including a four-point play by Francis and a deep ball from junior guard Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.). Richmond did damage on the inside as well during the stretch as Golden scored a pair of buckets and junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) converted a three-point play.

VCU found life later in the first half, scoring eight-straight points to pull within nine at 33-24 but the Spiders did not back down. Richmond scored the final nine points of the half, including a Golden three-point play through contact that ignited the crowd. The Spiders took a 42-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Rams scored the first five points of the second half but the Spiders again had the answer waiting with a 12-2 run, to take a 54-31 lead. This time the damage was done from in close as Cayo scored five in the run while Gilyard scored a pair of baskets off the drive for the 23-point lead.

VCU would have one final push, scoring nine-straight to trim the deficit to 68-55 but the Spiders would not be deterred on their way to an 18-point victory. The win was tied for Richmond’s largest ever against its crosstown rival. The Spiders also recorded 18-point wins over VCU on December 3, 2003 (70-52) and February 27, 2001 (72-54).

Francis, who missed the first meeting against the Rams, scored 13 points in the victory and helped the Spiders’ defense limit the Rams on the perimeter. Cayo added 11 points and six rebounds while Gilyard was strong all night with 10 points, six assists and five steals. The Spiders held VCU to just 59 points and –following consecutive losses to Dayton and VCU in January —  has kept four straight opponents under 60 points, Richmond’s longest stretch since a six-game run in February-March, 2011.

“After the Dayton and VCU games we clipped up a lot of really good defensive possessions and said to the team ‘hey – we’re close here.’ It has felt like the past four games we’ve really played tremendously on defense.”

Next for the Spiders is a home date with George Mason Wednesday night on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Robins Center.

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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.