Gilyard scores 22 as Richmond’s Mooney wins 300th

richmond basketballRichmond coach Chris Mooney tallied his 300th victory Wednesday night as the Spiders defeated Rhode Island 80-73 at the Robins Center.

Spiders guard Jacob Gilyard scored a game-high 22 points with five steals, and teammate Grant Golden added 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, as Mooney became the 70th active coach with 300 D-I wins.

“I’m really motivated by the believers and investors of this program,” said Mooney. “That’s our players, the parents, the managers, our staff and our administration. There is a lot that goes into each season, sacrifices made to help us have a successful season. It’s the believers over the years that have motivated me and I am proud we have 300 wins.”

For Richmond, now 8-3 on the year and 2-1 in Atlantic 10 action, all five starters notched double-figure scoring performances, and all logged over 32 minutes of action, as the Spiders had only nine scholarship players available for the third straight game.

Gilyard shot 6-of-8 from three-point range and added four free throws to total 22 points and move up two spots on Richmond’s career scoring list, overtaking Dan Geriot and Kelvin Johnson.

Gilyard’s 1,401 career points are now the 21st most in school history. With five steals, Gilyard tied Tim Winn of St. Bonaventure for the third-most steals in Atlantic 10 history at 319.

Golden, Gilyard’s roommate, also moved up Richmond’s career leaderboards. He passed Curtis Blair to move to ninth on Richmond’s career scoring list with 1,631 points and jumped up to seventh place on Richmond’s career rebounds leaderboard, with 733.

Blake Francis chipped in 15 points and four assists, while Nathan Cayo tallied 14 points and five rebounds. Tyler Burton scored 11 points with six rebounds.

“I told our guys that we need to get better on defense. We were better at the small things for longer stretches. We forced a lot of turnovers and didn’t have many,” said Mooney, of a Spiders defense that forced 19 Rhode Island turnovers, turning them into 20 points.

The Spiders turned the ball over just seven times, tied for their fewest in any game this season. Richmond led the game for more than 36 minutes, taking a 35-34 lead at halftime and going ahead for good on a three-pointer by Francis at the 15:28 mark of the second half.

The Spiders lead grew as large as 10 with 1:07 remaining.

Richmond is on the road Saturday, to take on the Patriots of George Mason at EagleBank Arena. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.


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