A strong shooting night from sophomore Jacob Gilyard wasn’t enough to lead Richmond to victory on Saturday night in the Robins Center, as St. Bonaventure rolled past the Spiders by a score of 66-57.
The loss marked the team’s fourth straight defeat, while its record fell to 7-13.
The Spiders’ first points of the night came during the second minute after redshirt sophomore Grant Golden rebounded a missed three-pointer from the Bonnies’ Courtney Stockard and fired a pass to Gilyard for a layup in transition.
The teams traded baskets early, with the score tied at 13 after nine minutes. St. Bonaventure began to pull away after Stockard scored on three straight possessions.
Stockard, a senior forward, dominated in the first half. He scored 14 points while adding five rebounds and an assist.
Sophomore Nathan Cayo led Richmond with eight points at the half, making three of four shots attempted. Gilyard had scored five for the Spiders by halftime, while Golden chipped in six points of his own.
With the Spiders trailing by three with under a minute left in the half, Stockard tipped a pass from Gilyard, taking possession and turning it into two points for St. Bonaventure at the other end of the court. The Bonnies led 27-22 at the half.
Gilyard continued to shine after play resumed, scoring nine of the Spiders’ first 16 points of the second half, including a contested three-pointer in the corner.
With Richmond trailing 45-38 nine minutes into the half, a 10-2 run highlighted by a beautiful three-pointer from senior Julius Johnson briefly put the Spiders on top for the first time. The teams traded the lead over the next minute and a half before a pair of threes by St. Bonaventure’s Kyle Lofton and Nelson Kaputo helped the Bonnies regain control with three minutes to play. A sharp alley-oop pass from Stockard to a dunking Osun Osunniyi extended the lead to six.
With 36 seconds left in regulation, Gilyard fired up a last-ditch three that careened off the glass and sealed the Spiders’ fate.
Gilyard finished with 19 points to pace the Spiders offense, while Lofton’s 21 points led St. Bonaventure.
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Spiders head coach Chris Mooney said that the team’s struggles at the free-throw line hurt its chances of a comeback win.
“Any close game, your free throws are going to help you or hurt you,” he said. “They certainly hurt us tonight.” The Spiders made 13 of 21 attempts at the line over the course of the game.
Mooney said that he had told his players after the game to put their feelings behind them, even though the losing streak has been difficult.
“When we get together Sunday or Monday for practice, everybody’s feelings are irrelevant," Mooney said. "We need to get to work and try to get better.”
He praised the performances of Cayo and Gilyard while complimenting the focus and effort of his team throughout the season.
“You have to put your head down and keep going,” he said.
Contact sports writer Riley Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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