The University of Richmond men's basketball team may have played more aggressively, but increased fouling caused the Spiders to lose to George Washington 61-73 Wednesday night in the Robins Center.
The Colonials got to the free-throw line 31 times and were successful on 24 attempts, compared to only nine makes on 14 shots for the Spiders. That 15-point differential is greater than the 12 points that separated the team's final scores, meaning the Spiders lost the game from the free-throw line.
At the beginning of the game, both teams were strong defensively but lacked consistency on offense. The Colonials were playing physically but the Spiders managed to match that toughness. Richmond started stronger on rebounds, which was the main reason for the Spiders last loss to Virginia Commonwealth University.
With both teams giving up little ground, the game grew tense. The crowd and both coaches were vocal about their discontent over questionable calls, and George Washington coach Mike Lonergan even got a bench warning during the first half.
The game stayed close early in the second half. Terry Allen, who finished with 16 points, led the Spiders throughout the game with help from substitutes Khwan Fore and Julius Johnson. But starters T.J. Cline and ShawnDre' Jones failed to make an impact for most of the game.
Although Cline finished with a double-double – 15 points and 10 rebounds – for the first time in his career, both he and Jones were only two of eight on field goals with about three minutes remaining. By that time, the Colonials already had a 10-point lead over the Spiders.
As George Washington out-shot Richmond, fouls began racking up for the Spiders. Two Richmond players finished the game with four fouls and Trey Davis, who did not make a basket, even fouled out of the game.
Fouls were frustrating for the Spiders because the Colonials got to the free-throw line and either extended their lead or stopped a Richmond run, Richmond coach Chris Mooney said.
Soft play was Richmond's biggest problem against VCU last weekend, but too much aggression led the team to give away easy foul points this game.
The Spiders, who are virtually out of contention for an NCAA Tournament spot unless they win the conference tournament, will play at Duquesne on Saturday night.
Contact sports assistant Aidan Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org