The Spiders’ 3-point shooting was totally absent on Saturday against the VCU Rams and their grit and will to win were not enough, as Richmond fell in overtime in a game with 20 lead changes.
Despite converting on only three of 18 3-point attempts, the Spiders scored 89 points on their way to a hotly contested 94-89 loss to the Rams.
Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said he thought the Spiders had a lot of good three-point looks that just didn't go in.
"A lot of balls rattled in and out, and that's going to happen sometimes," Mooney said. "I thought we took the right shots."
VCU beat Richmond at its own game, shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc on 16 attempts in addition to outrebounding the Spiders 45-34, giving the Rams just enough extra possessions to make up for their inferior overall shooting.
"We got a little more spread out than we'd like to, but you have to defend the 3-point line," Mooney said. "And that puts you in worse rebounding position."
Neither team led by more than four points in the entire second half until the end of overtime. With one final chance to tie the game up in overtime down three points, Richmond’s inbound pass was stolen by the Rams’ Mo Alie-Cox, who flushed down a one-handed slam at the other end as time expired.
"[VCU coach Will Wade] said make a statement, so I went down there and dunked it," said Alie-Cox who had 12 points, six rebounds and five blocks.
Richmond’s usual three-headed scoring attack of T.J. Cline, Shawndre’ Jones and Terry Allen was joined by Trey Davis, who had 16 points, all of which came after the end of the first half. Davis added nine rebounds and four assists to round out a superb showing.
"Obviously, like any good basketball player, once good things start happening your become more confident," Davis said.
Jones scored 26 points, Allen had 18 and Cline added 22 (before fouling out about halfway through overtime), all on good shooting from the field. As a team the Spiders shot 48 percent from the field, a solid percentage.
For VCU, JeQuan Lewis led the way with 29 points, getting whatever he wanted both inside and out on his way to torching the Spiders’ defense. He shot 9-14 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line as he was able to hit outside shots and attack the basket with equal effectiveness. Korey Billbury chipped in 20 points of his own, most of which came in the second half.
Cline and Allen were able to find easy points inside off smart cuts and Jones and Davis penetrated the VCU defense well, getting to the rim for good looks in close as well. The Spiders squandered this by shooting 16-26 from the line, really leaving extra opportunities on the table.
After a tough overtime loss to their rivals, the Spiders will have a week to rest and regroup before taking on a high-powered Davidson offense at home next Saturday.
Contact sports assistant Walter Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org