Richmond dominant in big Power 5 road win at Vanderbilt, 78-67

richmond basketballRichmond raced out to a 24-point halftime lead at Vanderbilt in what turned into a 78-67 win on Wednesday.

The Spiders (5-1) made their first five shots from the field and opened by hitting nine of its first 10 field goal attempts as UR built a 25-7 advantage over the game’s first 11 minutes.

“We came out playing with high intensity,” said senior guard Blake Francis, who led Richmond with 21 points. “We knew we had to come strong and fast to start the game off and come out with high energy on both ends of the floor and that’s what we did.”

As impressive as the Spiders start was, Richmond ended the first half even better than it opened it. Leading 41-21 less than a minute before halftime, the Spiders forced a turnover to take possession with 27 seconds left on the clock. Jacob Gilyard held the ball near midcourt as the seconds ticked down, ultimately flipping it to Grant Golden in the high post with eight seconds to play.

Golden pivoted and fired an overhead pass to a streaking Nathan Cayo for the layup. Gilyard then stole a lazy inbounds pass by the Commodores and dished it to Connor Crabtree for two more points just before the halftime buzzer, giving Richmond a 45-21 lead at the break.

“I was pleased with everything,” coach Chris Mooney said. “We moved the ball really well … and defensively in the first half I thought we were terrific – close to their shooters, really alert to the scouting report, great ball-screen defense. All around I thought in the first half we were great.”
Francis finished with 21 points, collecting the 20th 20-point game of his college career. He also added four assists, one shy of matching Gilyard for the team high.

Gilyard collected a game-high six steals, giving him 13 in two games against Vanderbilt over the last two seasons – increasing his career steals total to 303, becoming the fifth player in Atlantic 10 history with 300 career steals.

Grant Golden added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Spiders, becoming the third active Division I player alongside Iowa’s Luke Garza and Austin Peay’s Terry Taylor with 1,500 career points and 700 career rebounds with a defensive rebound at the 16:54 mark of the first half.

Richmond will bus to Indianapolis Wednesday night for a neutral-site game Friday against Loyola-Chicago. The game tips at 6 p.m. ET and will be shown on NBC Sports Washington.


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