#19 Richmond returns from COVID-19 break, defeats Northern Iowa, 78-68
Richmond, coming back from a COVID-19 break, got double-doubles from Tyler Burton, Grant Golden, and Jacob Gilyard to key a defeat of Northern Iowa, 78-68, at Robins Center Wednesday.
Burton posted a career-high 21 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Golden chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double of his career. Gilyard scored 12 points and registered a career-best 11 assists for his third double-double at Richmond.
Wednesday’s game was the first for the Spiders with three players recording double-doubles in at least the last the last 25 years.
“Tyler can do so many things well,” UR coach Chris Mooney said. “He can score on the post, handle the ball … He’s a great rebounder and has a nose for the ball.”
#19 Richmond (4-0) extended its winning streak to eight games dating back to last with the victory. It’s the Spiders longest win streak since winning nine straight during the 2010-11 season.
UNI falls to 1-4.
The Spiders struggled to find a rhythm at times in the first half, holding a 19-14 lead before going ice cold from the field for over seven minutes. During that time UNI would go on a 18-3 run to take a 32-22 lead with 3:59 left.
After a Richmond time out, the Spiders changed up the plan, pushing the ball down low. Golden scored three-straight layups off of quick passes from Gilyard to cut into the deficit. Burton, who opened the game with a three-pointer, closed out the half sinking his second of the game as the Spiders went into the locker room down 33-31.
“The last three-and-a-half minutes of the first half – we cut the lead from 10 to two – I thought that was really critical for us. We played with more urgency,” said Mooney. “We had nine turnovers in the first half. That’s a rare number for us and pretty unacceptable.”
Richmond entered the game turning the ball over an average of 10.3 times per game this season.
The Spiders upped their defensive pressure on UNI to open the second half. The squads exchanged quick buckets and the lead heading into the first media timeout after intermission. Burton converted his second three-point play of the half to give UR a 41-40 lead with 15:33 to play.
A Gilyard steal and fast-break layup followed, backed up by a Sal Koureissi three-point play to give UR a quick six-point advantage. Koureissi stole the ball and fed Andre Gustavson for the layup the next time down the court after a UNI miss, and Blake Francis hit a clutch three-pointer to push the Spiders lead to 53-45 heading into the under-12 media timeout.
The Panthers were never able to close the gap to less than seven down the stretch as the Spiders held on to move to 4-0 for the 14th time in school history.
Richmond will be back in action on Sunday. The Spiders are heading to Morgantown, WV to take on No. 11 West Virginia. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m on ESPN.