Coming off of a strong win last Saturday at George Washington, the Spiders returned home to the Robins Center and lost to an 11-5 Duquesne team on Wednesday night.
The Dukes and Spiders both opened up with disruptive defense, each only scoring four points in the first seven minutes. Sophomore Jacob Gilyard led the Spiders at the midway point with 11 points, including a signature steal and transition layup just before the break.
Redshirt sophomore Grant Golden had the tough assignment of taking on the 6-foot-8-inch, 250-pound center Michael Hughes. Following a jump ball call on a tie up between the two, Golden was granted a technical foul for bumping Hughes. He struggled offensively all half to find rhythm, getting blocked by Hughes twice.
Free throw struggles were the story for the Spiders in the second half. An incredible no-look pass by Gilyard to a cutting Nathan Cayo led to an easy layup plus the foul. However, Cayo missed the free throw, and the team would only go 10-18 on free throws during the night.
With about 12 minutes left in the game, Richmond held a 47-39 lead off of a strong baseline reverse layup by Golden. Just as the crowd started to get into it, Duquesne guard Brandon Wade was able to knock down a corner three-pointer. It would be the first of three straight threes for the Dukes, sparking a 9-0 run. They finished 12-16 from the floor in the last 13 minutes, including several extremely contested jump shots falling in off the backboard.
After the game, Cayo said the Spiders needed to adjust.
“We were just trading baskets,” he said. “We were scoring but they were scoring every time so, I mean we got to get better on defense.”
Cayo finished with a game high 23 points and also added seven rebounds.
Gilyard also added 22 points but several crucial misses from the free throw line down the stretch. The Dukes made most of their free throws the rest of the way, helping them win 74-68 and improving their record to 12-5 and 3-1 in the A10.
Richmond fell to 1-3 in conference play and 7-10 on the year. They next play Davidson this Saturday with tip off at 12:30 p.m.
Contact sports writer Noah Goldberg at email@example.com