The University of Richmond men’s basketball team captured its first Atlantic 10 conference victory at home against The George Washington University on Jan. 4. The Spiders defeated the Colonials 73-63.
After losing by four points against George Mason University on Dec. 31 to begin conference play, the Spiders bounced back and the team got its sixth straight win against George Washington, a streak dating back to 2019.
UR came out of the gates strong in the first half, hitting its first three baskets.
Two of those baskets came from senior center Neal Quinn, who was able to work his way into the paint early in the game. Quinn finished the game with eight points.
Despite the Spiders opening the game on a 7-2 run, the Colonials fought back to make the score 11-7 in favor of George Washington.
The rest of the first half would fare the same — back and forth and evenly matched, as there were several ties and lead changes.
At the halfway mark of the first half, the Spiders trailed the Colonials 21-20. Almost two minutes later, George Washington surged ahead by five points.
But, the Spiders continued to keep it close, remaining a basket or two behind the Colonials for the remainder of the half.
Thus, at halftime, George Washington only led UR by two points.
The first four minutes of the second half proved back and forth like the first half, but with 16:09 left in the game, a Quinn dunk put the Spiders ahead by one, giving them their first lead since close to the midway point of the first half.
From there, the Spiders kept the lead for the rest of the game. What started as a one point lead grew to a 10 point lead as the Spiders took control.
With 1:39 left in regulation, the Spiders were ahead by nine points. UR closed the game out ahead by 10 points.
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“I think offense wasn’t a problem the whole game so we got to string together a couple stops and that got our lead up a little bit,” graduate forward Zae Bigelow said in a postgame press conference.
The Spiders shot 50% from the field and 50% from 3-point range in the second half.
On the day, the team hit six 3-pointers out of 15 attempts and scored 32 points in the paint.
Senior forward Tyler Burton led the way with 26 points and seven rebounds. This marked his fifth straight game with 20+ points. Burton has averaged 19.6 points per game this season.
Redshirt first-year Jason Nelson added 11 points, and Bigelow finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
UR head coach Chris Mooney said in a postgame press conference that the Spiders’ defense was great in the second half.
“We made a few adjustments, but more importantly, we were able to focus our defense and be able to make it difficult for GW to score,” Mooney said.
With 16 games remaining in the season, the Spiders’ record sits at 8-7, with a 1-1 conference record. UR is 6-1 in games played in the Robins Center, 0-4 away and 1-2 in neutral locations.
“I think we needed this win right here for our confidence, and that’ll get us going leading forward in the conference play,” Bigelow said.
UR’s next game is against Duquesne University on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Robins Center.
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