The University of Richmond men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss, 84-87, to the Davidson College Wildcats on Friday in a high-scoring offensive showcase that was decided in the final seconds of the game.
The Spiders started the game slowly, mustering up two points in the first two minutes compared to the Wildcats’ 16 points. Richmond then caught fire, putting up 13 unanswered points to cut the lead to 15-16.
In the closing minute of the fourth quarter, Richmond battled its way back into the game with decisive runs from junior forward Tyler Burton and graduate forward Nathan Cayo, tying the game at 84-84 with 11 seconds remaining. With 3.3 seconds left on the clock, Davidson’s point guard hit a deep three-point shot, giving Davidson the lead at 87-84. Graduate guard Jacob Gilyard missed his final shot of the night, signaling Richmond’s seventh loss of the season. This game marked another disappointing finish for this Richmond team, which has lost three of its last four contests.
“That stings a little bit,” Spiders’ Head Coach Chris Mooney said. “But a lot of encouraging things. It doesn’t feel like it at the moment, but a lot of encouraging things.”
Richmond fans walked away with a glimmer of hope in the Spiders’ rejuvenated offense. Gilyard and Cayo scored season highs in points, 28 and 20 respectively. Defensive issues still plagued this experienced Spiders team, as they allowed Davidson to score seven of their first eight shot attempts at the start of the game.
“Their offense is tough to guard,” Gilyard said. “They’ve shown everybody that all year. I think we were too lackadaisical on defense. I think we did a pretty good job on them in the second half. Giving up 87 points is too many points.”
Graduate guard Nick Sherod had a standout game, dropping 20 points off the bench and shooting five for 10 from the three-point line. He added to his point total after shooting a perfect one-for-one from the free throw line.
Graduate forward Grant Golden joined Gilyard and Sherod as the only Spiders with double-digit points in the game. Golden finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The game was precluded by a light show conducted via CUE Live, an app that allowed Spider fans to use their phone’s flashlight to synchronize with other phones to create a strobe light effect in the Robin’s Center.
The Spiders shot 46% from the field, 38% from the three-point line and 80% from the free throw line. The Spiders also won the turnover battle by a wide margin, committing only five turnovers compared to Davidson’s 16. However, Richmond was dominated off the board, only grabbing 22 rebounds to Davidson’s 39.
Richmond will look to bounce back from its unfortunate loss in a rescheduled game against Fordham University at 8 p.m. today.
Contact sports writer Ben de Lemos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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