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.
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.