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Richmond rallies late, tops Davidson, 80-74, to give Mooney win #299

richmond basketballRichmond scored 11 straight points to put the game away and secure its fourth win in its last five trips to Belk Arena, an 80-74 triumph over Davidson on Wednesday.

“We stayed calm, and I thought our guys maintained their composure,” said head coach Chris Mooney regarding the Spiders late-game performance. “I think we did a good enough job of saying, Hey, let’s just make sure we’re together.”

After Davidson took a 72-69 lead with three-and-a-half minutes remaining, Grant Golden found Nathan Cayo cutting down the lane for a layup to narrow the gap to one. Cayo then forced a turnover by Davidson’s Kellan Grady on the ensuing possession, and Richmond regained the lead at 73-72 on a pullup jumper by Tyler Burton with 2:24 to play, one of several crucial late-game plays made by the Spiders sophomore.

“At the end of the day it comes to not thinking, actually,” said Burton about performing in high-pressure situations. “Just going out and doing what you know you can do. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody except for yourself, so sometimes it’s about just not thinking and making the basketball play.”

Richmond extended its lead to three on another layup by Cayo with 1:39 to play. Following a missed three-pointer by Davidson, Blake Francis put the game out of reach with a deep, contested three-pointer as the shot clock expired, giving UR a 78-72 lead with 46 seconds to go.

“I shoot with him every day after practice and he makes shots like that all the time,” said Burton of Francis. “I was shocked that he made it but I wasn’t shocked at the same time. He works on that stuff all the time.”

With the win, the Spiders improved to 7-2 on the season and 1-0 in Atlantic 10 play. UR is now 4-1 in its last five A-10 openers. Since Davidson joined the conference in 2014, Richmond is 4-3 at Belk Arena while the rest of the Atlantic 10 is a combined 7-41.

“Davidson is very good and they lose very rarely at home, so to be able to win here is a significant achievement,” said Mooney.
Golden scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Spiders. He passed Peter Woolfolk to become the 11th-leading scorer in Spider history with 1,607 points. Golden also passed Kenny Wood to move to eighth on Richmond’s career rebounding list with 719.

Burton added 18 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Burton’s 11 rebounds were eight more than any other Spider. “He can just do so many things and his rebounding is great – potentially elite,” said Mooney of Burton.

Blake Francis scored 16 points and added five assists, tied with Jacob Gilyard for the most on the team. Nathan Cayo had 15 points on 6-9 shooting from the field.

The Spiders were playing without Andre Gustavson (groin) and Connor Crabtree (foot). Richmond’s five starters played the last 9:08 of the game.

The win was Chris Mooney’s 299th as a Division I head coach. He’ll try for 300 Saturday when the Spiders host St. Bonaventure.

The game tips at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

augusta free press
augusta free press