University of Richmond (20-6,10-3 Atlantic 10): 65
George Mason (14-12,3-10 Atlantic 10): 50
For the 21st time in program history and the first time since 2016-17, the University of Richmond men’s basketball team reached the 20-win plateau in a season as the Spiders used a strong defensive performance to pull away from visiting George Mason for a 65-50 win Wednesday night in Atlantic 10 play at the Robins Center. The victory keeps the Spiders in sole possession of third place in the A-10 and ups their record to 20-6 overall and 10-3 in league play.
The Patriots 50 points were their second-fewest in any game this season and their 19 turnovers were tied for their second-most in any contest this year. “I thought our defense was excellent,” coach Chris Mooney said. “Mason scored on us earlier in the year and they have some guys that are difficult to guard.” George Mason was the fifth straight Spiders opponent to fail to reach 60 points, Richmond’s longest stretch of keeping opponents under 60 since 2011.
Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) led the Spiders with a team-high 21 points in the win, his fourth game this season with 20 or more points. Golden finished 8-of-11 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line while grabbing seven rebounds. Golden also moved into the top 20 on the Spiders all-time scoring list, passing Dan Geriot and Kelvin Johnson. He is now 20th in school history with 1,406 career points.
“We definitely wanted to go inside,” said Mooney. “Grant is just difficult to defend. When teams double him, he’s a very good passer. He has a really good sense for how to play. He’s incredibly helpful. With most big guys, you’re constantly helping them. I think Grant is incredibly helpful to everybody else on the floor.”
Redshirt junior guard Blake Francis (Herndon, Va.) added 14 points as five different Spiders scored eight or more points. Sophomore guard Andre Gustavson (Helsinki, Finland) added nine points off the bench — all in the second half — while junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) scored eight points.
The Spiders struck early, posting an early 10-0 run and taking a 17-7 lead less than seven minutes into the game. Golden started hot for Richmond, scoring six-straight in the run while Francis added the last four points to extend the lead to double figures. George Mason settled in and the game slowed for the remainder of the first half with the Spiders holding a 26-19 lead at the halftime break.
The Spiders continued to add to their lead and extended it to 15 points with a 10-2 run early in the second half, taking a 50-35 advantage. Junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) and Golden converted three-point plays in the post while Gustavson capped the run with a basket on the fast break.
Richmond maintained the lead down the stretch with its defensive effort. The Spiders held George Mason to only 39.1 percent (18-of-46) shooting from the field and just 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from deep.
The Spiders 20-6 overall record is their best through 26 games since 2010-11 and their five straight wins represent Richmond’s longest conference win streak since January 2018. Next, Richmond hits the road for two-straight games beginning Saturday when it travels to St. Bonaventure for a 6:30 p.m. contest airing nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Virginia Capital Trail, East Coast Greenway Alliance announce first-ever Winter Warrior Challenge
The event challenges people to complete 282 miles along the East Coast Greenway and Capital Trail this winter.
The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation and East Coast Greenway Alliance have announced the first-ever ‘Winter Warrior Challenge’ virtual event to take place January 13th – March 31st.
The challenge is a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to virtually complete 282 miles along the East Coast Greenway, traveling from Washington, D.C., to Richmond via Greenway’s spine route and to the Virginia-North Carolina border along the Greenway’s historic coastal route. Participants have the option to tackle the challenge individually or in a team of up to four people and can choose to run, walk, bike, or skate their way across Virginia.
“With a shared vision of equitable access to trails and greenways for recreation and active transportation, we are thrilled to partner with the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation on the first-ever Winter Warrior Challenge,” shares Sarah Sanford, East Coast Greenway Alliance Virginia & North Carolina Coordinator. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people have flocked to trails and greenways to maintain mental and physical health. We hope that this event will encourage people to get outside, recreate responsibly on the Virginia Capital Trail and beyond, and support a great cause at the same
Registration is $40 and includes an individual and team leaderboard, interesting trail facts based on destination points along the route, an official event crewneck sweatshirt, and a fun virtual experience as you travel along one of Virginia’s most prestigious trail networks. Participants can break the route into segments and divide it up between team members or complete it on their own.
“Many people are unaware that the Virginia Capital Trail connects to the East Coast Greenway Alliance, which stretches across 3,000+ miles and 15 states,” mentions Cat Anthony, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. “We are excited to inspire outdoor adventure as participants explore and learn more about trail networks across Virginia. We hope this event will bring awareness on how important pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is to our region and encourage people to take advantage of Virginia’s trail networks.”
Proceeds benefit the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation and East Coast Greenway Alliance for continued advocacy and regional trail expansion.
Registration is open here. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences using #WWC282.
Spiders versus Ram Game Postponed Due to Covid-19
Sometimes when you play sports in the middle of a pandemic people test positive for the disease that has killed over 380,000 in the United States.
The cross-city basketball derby will have to wait. University of Richmond released the following statement.
The University of Richmond men’s basketball home game Saturday against VCU has been postponed in response to the results from the latest COVID testing and contact tracing within the Spiders program. All team activities are paused at this time.
Richmond continues to follow the guidance of University health officials and the Virginia Department of Health protocols. No decisions have been made regarding any additional Richmond games.
Photos and Game Summary: Ram’s Home Winning Streak Comes to an End
Rhode Island handed the Rams their first loss at home. Final score Rhode Island 83, VCU 68.
Official VCU Game Summary
HYLAND’S 24 NOT ENOUGH FOR VCU AGAINST RHODE ISLAND
Score: Rhode Island 83, VCU 68
Location: Richmond, Va. (Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 9-3 (2-1 A-10), Rhode Island 6-6 (4-2)
The story: Sophomore guard Bones Hyland’s 24-point performance was not enough for VCU Men’s Basketball as it suffered 83-68 loss to Rhode Island Saturday night at the Stuart C. Seigel Center.
- Hyland led the Rams in scoring for the ninth time this season. The sophomore also collected five rebounds in the contest. The Wilmington, Del. native scored 19 of his 24 in the second half and connected on 8-of-19 field goals
- Junior guard KeShawn Curry chipped in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Black and Gold
- Sophomore forward Hason Ward bolstered the VCU defense tallying four blocks. Ward also contributed eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field
- Fatts Russell and Jeremy Sheppard contributed 23 and 20 points, respectively, to lead Rhode Island
- Rhode Island a 17-2 scoring run over more than six minutes in the second half to take a commanding 71-56 lead with 7:05 left. Russell punctuated the decisive run with a step-back 3-pointer as the shot clock expired
- VCU battled hard in a back-and-forth first half. The game was knotted at 40 when the teams entered the locker room
- Rhode Island won the rebounding battle 41-26, including 25-8 in the second half
- Rhody shot .481 (26-of-54) from the field, including .571 (8-of-14) from 3-point range
- The game featured 10 lead changes and nine ties
- VCU recorded 11 blocks in the game, marking the second time this year the Black and Gold registered double-digit blocks
- The Rams outscored Rhode Island in bench points 29-22. VCU has outscored opposing benches in 11 of 12 games this season
- Hyland scored 20+ points for the fifth time this season
- Ward tied his career high with four blocks
VCU will travel to Washington, D.C. to take on George Washington 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The game will air on ESPN+ and NBC Sports Washington.