The University of Richmond men’s basketball team won 68-66 against Saint Louis University yesterday. The final Friday Night Spides marked the Spiders’ 19th victory of the season on senior night.
The outcome improved the Spiders’ standing to 7-3 in their last 10 games. UR’s win over St. Louis puts them in fifth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference with two games left before playoffs.
In the first half, the Spiders finished 50% from the field and 30% behind the arch. UR went 4-4 from the free throw line, while the Billikens went 3-5. At the end of the period, the Spiders trailed 43-33.
Shortly into the second half, the Spiders went on a 13-4 scoring run, cutting the Billikens lead to just 47-46 with 14:00 to play after back-to-back three-pointers from graduate student guard Nick Sherod.
The Spiders took a 54-51 lead with 9:27 left to play with senior guard Andre Gustavson’s two-handed slam and never gave it back.
Neither team scored in the last 2:45 of the game, and UR sealed the victory with a rebound by graduate forward Grant Golden in the final seconds.
Junior forward Tyler Burton led the team with 23 points and 10 rebounds, earning his eighth double double of the season. Burton went 7-11 from the field and shot 9-10 on the free-throw line.
Graduate guard Jacob Gilyard followed behind Burton with 15 points and four steals, going 5-11 from the field and knocking down three three-pointers.
The Spiders finished 48.9% from the field goal range going 23-47. They tallied 6 six three-pointers and collected 25 boards, with 20 of them coming from the defensive end.
UR had nine steals and five blocks on the game and committed 11 turnovers while the Billikens turned the ball over 15 times.
“Obviously it was a really gritty win for us,” head coach Chris Mooney said. “I thought it was a very different first half to second half… in the first half they were beating us to balls, they had points in the paint… and we weren't, you know, tough enough.
“I thought it was the opposite in the second half. We got the loose balls. Our guys were on the floor, and we made it hard for them to score.”
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Gilyard discussed some of the challenges the Spiders faced on the defensive end.
“We knew it was going to be difficult coming in to rebound against them,” he said. “They’re really good at it but 50/50 balls are the ones we have to come up with.”
Gilyard also touched on the team’s offense during the second half and how they were able to turn the game around in their favor.
“Nick Sherod came in and made shots, I think that helps us every time he does it,” he said. “Shots started to fall for a little stretch and once that happened then back doors started to open up and we got a couple cuts as the game progressed.”
The Spiders are getting ready to play in the A10 tournament, which is set to begin on March 9 in Washington, D.C.
The Spiders will look to finish off their last home game of the season at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against the Dayton University before heading to Olean, New York, to close off regular season play against St. Bonaventure.
Contact sports writer Anabella Pelaez at email@example.com.
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