The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Spiders' Aggressive Play Secures Win Against William & Mary Tribe

<p>Richmond Men's Spiders against William &amp; Mary Saturday Dec. 2. &nbsp;Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.</p>

Richmond Men's Spiders against William & Mary Saturday Dec. 2.  Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond Spiders men’s basketball team defeated the College of William & Mary Tribe 88-69 at the Robins Center this past Saturday Dec. 2. 

The Spiders were coming off a hard-fought loss at Wichita State University and were looking to atone for their loss. With a win against the Tribe squad, UR would have a winning record through eight games for the third time in the last five years and first since the 2020-21 season.

On Dec. 1, when graduate center Neal Quinn was asked to give an early scouting report on the Tribe basketball team, he said in the press conference that “they’re a good team.” 

“[The Tribe are] not to be overlooked for sure,” Quinn said. “So we gotta dial in today…and we’ll take care of business tomorrow.”

In the first half, the Spiders got on the board with a tough layup by junior guard Jason Roche over a Tribe defender. Roche continued his strong start with another three-pointer at 15:52. Graduate forward Zae Bigelow then contributed with an and-one layup at 13:41, leading into the first timeout with the score at 11-7 in favor of W&M. 

The Spiders' momentum grew as senior guard Dji Bailey stole the ball and completed a fastbreak dunk at 11:45, exciting the crowd. Shortly after, graduate guard Jordan King landed a deep three, bringing the score to 18-11 for the Spiders at the 11:00 mark. 

King then completed an and-one three at 8:03, followed by a successful free throw, further energizing the crowd. By 7:36, the Spiders were outshooting the Tribe with a field goal percentage of 55% to 23%. King led the game with 14 points at this point. Quinn added to the Spiders' tally with a nice floater at 3:45. 

The first half ended with the Spiders leading 48-32, thanks to efficient shooting, including Roche's 4-for-5 shooting from the 3-point line and King's 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

In the second half, Bigelow's steal and fastbreak layup with a euro step finish at 18:15 kept the Spiders' momentum. King executed an in-and-out move to score an and-one floater at 12:25, making the score 64-46 in favor of the Spiders. Bailey then skillfully scored a contested right-handed layup at 10:00 and followed it with a smooth up-and-under reverse layup at 7:35. The Spiders led 73-53. 

Quinn's elusive spin move and left-handed reverse layup at 6:50 further extended their lead. King hit a deep contested 3-pointer at 6:18 and a falling underhand layup at 5:25, pushing the score to 78-55. The Spiders maintained their lead towards the end of the game, finishing with a final score of 88-69.

Key stats at the end of the game highlighted the Spiders' dominance: UR led in bench points 22-8, paint points 36-28, field goal percentage 54-38, steals 6-1 and fewer turnovers – 5 compared to W&M's 8 – indicating better ball handling.

In the postgame press conference, UR Head Coach Chris Mooney pointed to the aggressiveness of the team as one of the keys as to why the Spiders were able to secure the victory. 

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“I thought that we were very aggressive,” Mooney said. “Again, I think that’s probably one of our keys and one of the great things that King has brought to us.” 

The Spiders are now 5-3 as they prepare to face the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at the McLeod Center at 8 p.m. Dec. 6.

Contact sports writer Waleed Said at waleed.said@richmond.edu.

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