UR (23-7,13-4 Atlantic 10): 80
Davidson (15-14,9-8 Atlantic 10): 63
Richmond junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) erupted for 17 second half points as the Spiders out-scored Davidson 50-29 after halftime en route to a convincing 80-63 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over the Wildcats at the Robins Center.
The victory secures the Spiders the second or third seed and a double bye in the 2020 A-10 Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, meaning Richmond won’t open play until Friday evening, March 13 in the quarterfinals round. With the win, Richmond improved to 23-7 overall, tied for the fourth-most wins in a season in school history, and 13-4 in the Atlantic 10, tied for their most conference wins since joining the A-10 in 2001.
Sherod led four Spiders in double figures with 19 points, 17 of which came after the break. He connected on five 3-pointers in the second half as the Spiders hit 8-of-15 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes after not hitting one shot from distance in the opening half (0-4).
Redshirt junior guard Blake Francis (Herndon, Va.) added 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half to help the Spiders sweep the season series against Davidson. Richmond is now 6-2 against the Wildcats over the last four years and has won eight of its last nine games overall following back-to-back losses to Dayton and VCU at the end of January.
Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) added 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from the free throw line. Junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) rounded out the Spiders in double figures with 11 points and eight rebounds as he helped the Spiders out-rebound Davidson 36-25 in the win.
Junior guard Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.) finished just shy of double figures with nine points. He also contributed a game-high eight assists, giving 168 for the season, fourth-most in a single campaign in Spiders history.
“Not everybody could have so many guys be able to score and contribute,” said coach Chris Mooney. “Our guys can score at a high level and when the ball is moving we’re really difficult to guard. I don’t know if this is the best offensive team we’ve ever had but one of the reasons it’s really special is we’re aggressive and we know how to play and move the ball and share the ball.”
Davidson (15-14, 9-8 A-10) started strong, hitting its first four shot from the field including its first three three-pointers to take an 11-2 lead. The Spiders found themselves trailing 19-9 before scoring 10-straight on their way to a 13-2 run that gave them a 22-21 lead with eight minutes remaining in the half. Sophomore guard Andre Gustavson (Helsinki, Finland) came off the bench and scored four-straight points while Gilyard added four points in the run. Golden capped the run and gave the Spiders their first lead by converting a three-point play.
The Wildcats closed the half on a 10-4 run, including a near half-court shot buzzer beater from Carter Collins to give Davidson a 34-30 lead at the break. “We addressed the little bit of frustration we showed [in the first half] at halftime,” said Mooney. “You can’t anticipate that everything will go your way. They’re playing really hard and we can’t anticipate that every shot can go in and every call will go our way. … We didn’t get knocked out of our game or get distracted.”
Davidson would it make its first three-pointer of the second half to take a 37-30 lead but the Spiders responded with a 10-3 run, tying the game at 40-40. Francis ignited the run by hitting Richmond’s first three-pointer of the game in transition, one of eight the Spiders would hit in the half.
The game was tied 55-55 with 8:02 remaining before the Spiders put the game out of reach with a 25-8 run down the stretch. Richmond scored 15 of the next 19 points as Sherod couldn’t miss, hitting three three-pointers in one two-minute stretch.
Richmond continued to put the pedal down on both ends of the floor and its defense led to baskets on the offensive end. Sherod scored 14 of his 19 points in the final 8:02 of the game, hitting four three-pointers in that stretch. Francis added four points down the stretch while Gilyard got in the act with four points, including a three-pointer.
Richmond finished its home schedule with a 14-2 mark at the Robins Center, including 11 wins by 15 or more points, the most 15-point wins at home in a season in school history.
Richmond will conclude its regular-season schedule Friday evening on the road at Duquesne. The game will tip at 7 PM and be shown on ESPN Plus.
Protests turn violent in Downtown Richmond Friday night
Hundreds took to the street to protest the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. A police cruiser and Pulse bus were torched, and several shots rang out into the air overnight.
Hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed earlier this week by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, took to the streets of Downtown Richmond last night to make their voices heard.
While the protests started off peacefully, things quickly took a turn. Around 10:45 PM Friday, a Facebook Live stream showed WWBT/NBC12 reporter Karina Bolster, who was reporting from the scene, struck in the head by a protester chanting “stop recording” using a water bottle. Her phone was also tossed to the street. Bolster, clearly shaken, did not stop recording and continued reporting through tears as she came to terms with what just happened.
As the night progressed, protesters set a dumpster on fire and later marched to Richmond Police headquarters at 200 W. Grace Street and surrounded the building. Richmond officers were joined by State Police and backup requested from surrounding localities to protect the building and officers inside. Nearby, a police cruiser was torched.
Into the early morning hours of Saturday, a GRTC Pulse bus was also set ablaze, the shell of which remained near the corner of W. Broad Street and Belvidere Street as dawn broke.
Several arrests were made overnight, but Richmond Police has yet to confirm a number.
PHOTOS & VIDEO: Dominion Energy Headquarters is imploded in Downtown Richmond
This morning’s implosion seemed to go off without any issues.
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.
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.