Richmond, with dominant second half, notches double-digit win at #10 Kentucky
The Spiders flexed their experience edge with a big second half in Rupp Arena in what turned into a 76-64 upset of #10 Kentucky on Sunday.
Richmond (2-0) trailed by four at the half after shooting 28.6 percent from the floor, but turned things around big time in the second half – using a 12-2 scoring run to go up 58-46 with 7:43 to go and not really looking back from there.
The Spiders connected on 19-of-32 shot attempts (59.4 percent) in the second half on its way to securing the first road win against an AP Top 10 team in UR program history.
“This was a tremendous win for us,” coach Chris Mooney said. “I feel like the whole game we were very good defensively.
“We didn’t have a good rhythm in the first half, which is unusual for us. We were able to find a much better rhythm in the second half, and with that comes the ability to make shots. When we made shots, we were able to pull away.”
Forward Nathan Cayo had 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting while pulling down six boards for Richmond, earning him Bluegrass Showcase Most Valuable Player honors.
“Nate has improved dramatically since his freshman year,” said Mooney. “He’s a really difficult player for other teams to defend. He was pretty much unguardable in this tournament. I am really proud of him, and he deserves every bit of it because he’s worked very hard.”
Senior Blake Francis also scored 18 points, adding three three-pointers, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Grant Golden added 13 points, seven boards and five assists, moving him to 13th in program history with 1,501 points.
Brandon Boston Jr. led all scorers with 20 points and 10 rebounds for UK, while Oliver Sarr chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Terrence Clarke had 15 points and six rebounds as Isaiah Jackson had 14 boards.
The Spiders return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 2, against the College of Charleston at TD Arena. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in Charleston, S.C.