The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Richmond stuns No. 13 Florida

E. Bruce Heilman, 82, will retrace the path he traveled 64 years ago by taking a 19-day cross-country motorcycle trip with his daughter and wife following a similar route by car.
E. Bruce Heilman, 82, will retrace the path he traveled 64 years ago by taking a 19-day cross-country motorcycle trip with his daughter and wife following a similar route by car.

This time it was the University of Richmond men's basketball team that used a second-half comeback to win as the Spiders upset the No. 13 University of Florida, 56-53, Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla., as part of the Orange Bowl Classic.

Senior David Gonzalvez connected on a three-pointer with 1:36 left in the game to give Richmond a 52-49 lead, a lead that the Spiders would not give up. Junior Kevin Anderson hit all four of his free throws during the final five seconds of the game to hold off the Gators.

The Gators led by as many as 13 during the first half, but Richmond cut the lead to 32-24 at the half. It took only two minutes for the Spiders to erase that lead as Anderson hit a layup to put the Spiders up 33-32.

After a Florida free throw to tie the game, Gonzalvez — who finished with a team-high 16 points — made a 3-pointer to give the Spiders the lead once again. Richmond held that lead until Florida senior Dan Werner tied the game at 48 with just more than three minutes left during the game.

Both teams added a free throw to keep the game tied and set up the Gonzalvez's shot at the end of the game.

During its previous game against the University of South Carolina, Richmond held an identical 32-24 lead at the half. But the Gamecocks came out with a 19-4 run to start the second half and take the lead.

Richmond tied the game up at 52 with 8:09 left in the game, but South Carolina went on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes to put away the Spiders.

Before the Florida game, Richmond coach Chris Mooney inserted sophomore Josh Duinker into the starting lineup for the struggling junior Dan Geriot. Geriot missed all of last year with a torn knee ligament.

Geriot responded with a strong game off the bench. He finished with nine points and five rebounds to give Richmond a spark, something that was missing during the last two games — both losses — for Richmond.

This is the third-consecutive year that Richmond has beaten a ranked team. Last year, Richmond beat No. 17 Xavier University and beat No. 16 Dayton University the year before. The last time Richmond beat a ranked team on a neutral floor was against Syracuse University in the 1991 NCAA Tournament.

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The Spiders handed the Gators only their second loss of the year, but their second in a row. The other loss was to an undefeated Syracuse team on Dec. 10.

Richmond improved to 8-3 with the win and will return home to face the University of North Carolina at Greensboro at noon on Dec. 22.

Andrew Prezioso reported from Annandale, N.J.

Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at andrew.prezioso@richmond.edu

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