The Collegian
Sunday, October 17, 2021

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Men's basketball loses to cross-town rival VCU

<p>Richmond Spiders head coach Chris Mooney watches the Richmond Spiders. <em>Courtesy of Mark Cornelison</em></p>

Richmond Spiders head coach Chris Mooney watches the Richmond Spiders. Courtesy of Mark Cornelison

The University of Richmond men’s basketball team fell to cross-town rival VCU on Wednesday evening at the Siegel Center 56-68, the team's lowest point total since the 2019 Atlantic 10 Championship against Fordham

In the first half, UR shot 32% from the field, went two for eight from the three-point line, and two for four on free throws. The Ram’s meanwhile shot 44% field goal percentage, went three for nine from three, and five for six on free throws. 

UR and the Ram’s were tied halfway through the first half despite graduate student guard Blake Francis and sophomore forward Tyler Burton going scoreless. After freshman guard Isaiah Wilson broke the tie with a three-pointer, the Ram’s took control with a 13-2 run to take an eight-point lead 32-24 going into the second half. 

In the second half, the Spiders continued to struggle shooting, going 33% from the field, 9% from three. They did manage, however, to improve their free throw shooting going 78%, according to the box score. 

But despite the Ram’s going 0 for six from the three-point line in the second half, the Spiders were unable to secure a solid lead after trailing closely behind VCU for the entirety of the game. Head Coach Chris Mooney attributed the Ram’s defense to their ultimate loss Wednesday night. 

“I think it's a combination of factors," Mooney said. "They're a great defensive team with a terrific coach and defensive principles. But we really needed to convert those opportunities because it just has a way of making you less fatigued if you're putting some points on the board and not having droughts."

Senior forward Nathan Cayo led the Spiders with 18 points and seven rebounds, respectively. All five UR starters managed to score in the second half and which led to an 11-2 run to take a 37-36 lead with fifteen minutes left in the game. After pushing the lead to 44-41, the Spiders fell out of the pace and missed the next fifteen shots. 

The Spiders are back in the Robins Center with a game against Duquesne on Feb. 20.

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

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