The University of Richmond Spiders men's basketball team defeated George Washington University 76-54 on Saturday evening in front of a sold-out Robins Center crowd. The Spiders dominated down low, scoring 50 of their points in the paint. 

Head coach Chris Mooney credited Richmond's strong defense throughout the night as crucial to securing the win. 

Redshirt junior Grant Golden was the game's leading scorer with 20 points, his 26th 20-point game of his career. The Spiders had three other players score in double digits with redshirt junior Nick Sherod adding 15 points, first-year Tyler Burton with 12 points and junior Nathan Cayo accruing 10.

A powerful dunk made by Burton early in the first half on an assist from sophomore Jake Wojcik erupted cheers from the crowd. Burton excited the Robins Center again after finishing an alley-oop layup assisted by sophomore Andre Gustavson just four minutes into the second half. 

“I just attack every game, I don’t really care who’s on the other end,” Burton said.

Establishing Golden in the paint was a key asset in winning the game, Mooney said. Mooney wanted to get the ball inside to Golden, taking advantage of GW’s younger team using Golden’s experience. 

The Spiders scored 22 points from 18 turnovers by the Colonials, including four steals each from junior Jacob Gilyard and Sherod. Golden spoke of Gilyard's importance to the team's defense.

“He [Gilyard] sets the tone early on," Golden said. "With his pressure on the ball, I think that bothers everyone.” 

Mooney echoed Golden's statements.

“He can have an impact on the game at all times, just his energy and his command of what we’re trying to do is critical and so important," Mooney said.

Not only was Gilyard a key asset in forcing turnovers, he also contributed nine assists during the game. Gilyard now has 415 assists, officially ranking him fourth in Richmond history. 

After two consecutive Atlantic-10 losses, the Spiders bounced back with an important win against George Washington. The team plays again at Fordham on Saturday, Feb. 8. 

Contact sports writer Grace Mittl at grace.mittl@richmond.edu