The University of Richmond men’s basketball team lost its final home game of the regular season 55-53 to the Dayton University Flyers on Tuesday in a heartbreaking fashion, giving up a game-winning alley-oop as time expired.
The game was neck and neck heading into the final seconds. After a series of offensive foul calls against the Spiders, Dayton found themselves with the ball under their own basket with 2.4 seconds remaining in the game.
Dayton ran a play and inbounded the ball as a lob pass to R.J. Blakney, who slammed the ball through the hoop to give the Flyers a game-deciding lead. UR was unable to get a shot off as time expired, falling to 10-7 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 19-11 in the season. The loss cost the Spiders a chance at one of the top four seeds in the A10 conference, which would have given them an extra bye game.
The Spiders shot inconsistently from the field throughout the game. They shot 35.7% from the field and only 25% from the three-point line.
“I think if we could have made a couple shots, it would have loosened up a little bit,” the Spiders’ head coach Chris Mooney said. “But since we didn’t, it stayed a tight, hard-fought game on both ends.”
Graduate forward Grant Golden shined in what may be his last game inside the Robins Center. Golden scored a double-double with a team-high of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Graduate guard Jacob Gilyard added 12 points along with three steals, adding to his resume for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award — where he is a semifinalist for the third year in a row.
A key factor in UR’s offensive difficulties was the absence of junior forward Tyler Burton, who was hit with two fouls in the first four minutes of the game, forcing Coach Mooney to bench him until the second half had already begun. Burton failed to get into a rhythm, only scoring three points in the game, while he had been averaging 17 points this season heading into the game.
“Hard to get in a rhythm when you get fouls that early,” Golden said. “We didn’t knock down shots. They did a great job.”
The Spiders look to bounce back from their loss, playing their last game of the regular season away at 7 p.m. against St. Bonaventure University on Friday night.
Contact copy editor Ben de Lemos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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