University of Richmond (22-7,12-4 Atlantic 10): 95
University of Massachusetts (13-16,7-9 Atlantic 10): 71
All five Spiders starters scored in double figures as Richmond’s men’s basketball team picked up its 22nd win of the season Saturday evening with a dominant 95-71 victory over Massachusetts in Atlantic 10 action in front of a sellout crowd at Robins Center. The Spiders have won seven out of their last eight games heading into the regular season home finale Tuesday night against Davidson.
Richmond is 22-7 this season, tied for the seventh-most wins in a campaign in school history and tied for the Spiders third-most wins in 15 seasons under coach Chris Mooney. The 24-point win was Richmond’s 10th win by 15 or more points at the Robins Center this season, tied with 1954-55 for the most 15-point home wins in a season in school history.
“I think our defense from the beginning of the game was energetic and physical and really good and that set the tone,” said coach Chris Mooney.
The Spiders came out of the gate quickly, opening an early 18-8 lead as they connected on eight out of their first nine field goals of the game. Junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) started it off with an early three-pointer while junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) scored six early points, including back-to-back dunks to get the crowd into the game from the start. Defensively, the Spiders limited UMass freshman forward Tre Mitchell, the leading candidate for A-10 Rookie of the Year, to a 1-8 start from the field.
Richmond took firm control of the game with a 14-0 run later in the half, grabbing a 32-13 lead and forcing the Minutemen to spend their second timeout. Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) scored five points early in the run while sophomore guard Jake Wojcik (San Jose, Calif.) hit a pair of three-pointers.
The Spiders continued to pour it on from there, extending the lead to as many as 26 points on their way to a 49-26 lead at the break. Golden got hot late in the first half, scoring 13 points in the opening 20 minutes and capping his half with a three-pointer. The Spiders shot 63.3 percent (19-of-30) from the field in the first half while limiting UMass to just 32.3 percent (10-of-31) shooting.
The Spiders quickly extended their lead in the second half to 28 points just five minutes into the period as junior guards Blake Francis (Herndon, Va.) and Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.) each hit from behind the three-point line. The lead would bloom to as many as 31 in the second half as the Spiders controlled the action and kept the Minutemen off balance on defense, coasting to a 95-71 win.
Richmond rotated players in and out, with only Gilyard playing more than 30 minutes and 10 different players scoring a point. Francis finished with a game-high 20 points for his seventh 20-point effort of the season. Gilyard recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, tying a career high. He also broke his own school single-season steals record, collecting four to finish the game with 92 steals this season, eclipsing the 89 he recorded in 2017-18.
Golden added 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists while only playing 22 minutes in the impressive win. Sherod chipped in 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field, including a pair of three-pointers. Cayo finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and was nearly perfect from the field, making six of his seven shots, as Richmond hit 55 percent of its field goals attempts in the game (32-58).
Richmond is now 13-2 at home this season, tied for the sixth-most home wins in a season in school history. Their final home game of the season will be Tuesday night at 7 PM against Davidson on NBC Sports Washington Plus and ESPN Plus.
Photos and Game Summary: Rams Comeback to Win in Extra Time
George Washington scored first but VCU tied it up and scored in extra time to take the win.
The short story: Redshirt senior forward Samantha Jerabek scored the golden goal in the 108th minute as the Rams collected a dramatic win in the opening game of the Atlantic 10 schedule.
- Jerabek scored her second goal of the season, the 26th of her career, and leads VCU with seven points on the season.
- Senior forward Aileen Guthrie scored her team-high third goal of the season in her first start of the year.
- Graduate forward Bri Kropinack notched her second goal of the year to tie the game late in the second half.
- Junior midfielder Anna Bagley notched her second assist of the season on Jerabek’s goal, while sophomore midfielder Ella Higgins recorded her first point of the year, assisting Kropinack’s goal.
- VCU out-shot George Washington by a wide 32-6 margin. The Rams also held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks, while the Colonials committed 19 fouls compared to VCU’s seven.
- This was VCU’s first match in two weeks after COVID-19 protocols within the William & Mary program canceled a Sept. 9 meeting with the Tribe.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU controlled play in the first half, outshooting GW by a 12-2 margin and earning four corner kicks.
- Jerabek was dangerous on the left wing in the early going, forcing saves at the near post in both the 17th and 20th minutes.
- The Rams opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Bagley stepped to win a ball in the midfield, then played a through ball to spring Guthrie on a breakaway, where she slotted the ball into the lower right side-netting.
- The Colonials equalized against the run of play in the 33rd minute through Isabelle Eskay, who finished Isabella Buck’s cross.
- The Rams had a dangerous chance in the 40th minute from Jerabek’s free kick, as Gajdobranski pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired a shot on goal.
- GW took a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute, with Kelly Amador scoring from a Maria Pareja assist.
- The Rams tied the game in the 78th when Higgins played a through ball that split four Colonial defenders, that Kropinack touched around charging GW goalkeeper Tamaki Machi and rolled into the empty net.
- Jerabek was a scoring threat throughout the two overtime periods, firing a shot just over the bar in the 91st minute, and forcing a pair of saves in the 104th and 106th.
- The Chesterfield, Va., product ended the game a few moments later. After collecting a pass from sophomore forward Aisha Maughan, she took on a GW defender 1-on-1 to get into the box, then fired a left-footed shot inside the far post. The goal marked Jerabek’s sixth game-winning score of her prolific career.
The Rams face their first in-conference road test at St. Bonaventure on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. Every A-10 match is streamed on ESPN+.
Photos and Game Summary: Panthers Shred the Dragons
Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg hadn’t meet on the football field since 1931. VUL will be happy if they don’t meet again anytime soon as they lost 49 to 7.
Official VUU Summary
Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg hadn’t meet on the football field since 1931, but VUU made up for 90 years of lost time by downing the Dragons 49-7 in the Willard Bailey Classic on Saturday, September 18, at Willie Lanier Field at Hovey Stadium in Richmond, Va.
“It’s always good to get the win,” said VUU Head Football Coach Dr. Alvin Parker. “I think the guys needed it, we needed it. It’s good to get the win in the fashion that we did. I was happy to get a lot of guys to play and it was a great opportunity to get the win.”
The Panthers started the scoring early when Jaiden Reavis caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Khalid Morris with 2:32 left in the first quarter and didn’t stop the scoring until Kore Prentice-Coles capped the onslaught when he took the ball in from two yards out with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter.
In between, VUU racked up 416 yards in total offense and rushed for five touchdowns.
“Those guys (in the offensive line), Brian Gibson, Matthew Curry, Mark Lawton, Justin Meade and Savion Hopes, those are five starters right now, and they’ve been playing exceptionally well these past few weeks,” said Parker. “We’ve been able to run the ball pretty effectively and they’ve been protecting the quarterback as well. They may not get a lot of credit, but those guys have been doing such a great job and the numbers speak for what they are.”
VUU’s Jada Byers, a freshman from Hammonton, N.J., majoring in Social Work, rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Byers was named the Offensive MVP of the Game for his effort.
“If you watch us play, you’ll see that #7 (Byers) is something special,” said Parker. “He’s just a great kid to be around, first and foremost. Even before you get to his play, he’s just a great kid. His play speaks for itself.”
On the defense, Virginia Union” Marquis Hamilton, a graduate student from Washington, D.C., and who is majoring in Business, intercepted two passes and came within one yard of returning one for a score.
“Hamilton is a good guy for us,” said Parker. “He bought right into our culture. He comes to work every day and you really don’t hear him make a sound. But he had a big smile on his face after he made those interceptions, and that’s what we like to see.”
VUU is now 1-2 on the season while Virginia University at Lynchburg fell too 0-3.
The Panthers will now travel to Charlotte, N.C., to face Johnson C. Smith University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, In the CIAA regular-season opener for both teams.
Photos and Game Summary: VCU Goes Down a Goal Comes Back with a Vengeance
Despite giving up an early goal the Rams dominated play and ended up winning 4-1 over ETSU.
The short story: Two goals apiece from sophomore winger Celio Pompeu and senior midfielder Oquin Robinson led the Rams to a dominant win, the 100th of head coach Dave Giffard‘s career, in the fall 2021 home opener.
- Giffard notched his 100th career win in his 12th season at the helm of the Rams.
- Pompeu’s brace gave the Brazilian a team-high three goals and seven points on the season.
- Robinson’s brace were his first two goals of the year after picking up an assist last time out at RV/#24 Charlotte.
- ETSU played with ten men for the final 32 minutes of the match after goalkeeper Cole Hunter received his second yellow card.
- In a physical match, the Bucs received eight total yellow cards.
- VCU out-shot ETSU by a 19-7 margin, and held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Rams were dangerous right out of the gate, with Pompeu pinging a ball to redshirt freshman Ethan Manheim who turned and fired a shot from 20 yards just wide of the right post in the first minute.
- ETSU’s Hunter picked up his first yellow card in the 14th minute when he strayed outside of the box to pick up a ball. Robinson took the ensuing free kick, curling a shot over the wall and forcing a diving save.
- Moments later, the Bucs struck first on the counter. Gabriel Ramos played a long ball from midfield to Tarik Pannholzer, who cut in on his right foot and curled a shot to the lower right corner to put ETSU in front 1-0.
- In the 34th minute, Pompeu drew a foul in the box that resulted in a yellow card for ETSU’s Dominic Foster and a VCU penalty kick. Robinson stepped up to the spot and slotted home his first goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1.
- VCU’s fluid play continued into a dominant second half, with a quality chance coming in the 50th minute. Robinson threaded a perfectly-weighted ball to freshman midfielder Damian Gallegos on the right wing, where he played a dangerous cross that senior forward Biska Biyombo nearly redirected into the goal as he slid through the six-yard box.
- In the 57th minute, Pompeu skillfully created space for himself in the box, and fired a shot just over the bar.
- Biyombo was in on goal in the 59th minute, and Hunter came off his line and fouled him with a sliding challenge, collecting his second yellow and forcing the Bucs to bring on Josh Perryman as a replacement goalkeeper. Pompeu took the ensuing free kick from 24 yards out, beautifully curling it into the top right corner to put the Rams in front 2-1.
- Robinson doubled his tally in the 67th minute, collecting a rebound from Manheim’s header off a corner kick and heading it into the back of the net form close range to push the lead to 3-1.
- Pompeu put a bow on the Rams’ scoring in the 74th minute, collecting a ball from redshirt junior midfielder Pierre Fiorre Mane, taking a deft touch around a defender, and slotting home a finish with his right foot.
QUOTING HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD
“Tonight was an interesting game. We started brightly but had more control than we have the first few games, and I think that lulled us into a false sense of security at 0-0. We knew coming in that ETSU was excellent in transition, and that the number nine was absolutely quality. We didn’t deal with it very well, and sure enough, he scored a very good goal. We kept playing through and got it back and then in the second half our quality shone through over time.”
The Rams open the Atlantic 10 slate with a road match at Rhode Island on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. from Kingston, R.I. Every A-10 match is broadcast on ESPN+.