Golden’s 17 lead Richmond past VCU, 67-52
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Freshman guard Jacob Gilyard said Richmond learned about itself in a most unlikely setting — on the home floor of arch rival VCU.
Grant Golden scored 17 points and Richmond never trailed Wednesday night in a 67-52 victory against the Rams.
“We just know if we focus in and lock in from the jump, we can play with anybody,” Gilyard said.
Nick Sherod added 14 points, De’Monte Buckingham had 12 and nine rebounds and Gilyard scored 11 with eight assists for the Spiders (5-13, 3-3 Atlantic 10), who snapped a six-game losing streak against VCU and won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
After winning in their last outing, 78-68 against George Washington, the Spiders are not lacking in confidence, Sherod said.
“Any time you come into a game like this, if you’re not excited, if you’re not ready to go then you shouldn’t be playing. Everybody knew what was at stake here,” Sherod said. “We have a chance to really make a run in conference play.”
The Spiders did it with their most complete game of the season, coach Chris Mooney said, and have something to build on.
Mike’l Simms and Justin Tillman scored 12 each to lead the Rams (11-8, 3-3). VCU shot just 34.4 percent from the field.
“We had some open threes that we’ve been making and it really affected us at the other end,” Rams coach Mike Rhoades said.
The Spiders shot 53.7 percent (29 for 54) for the game.
“We knew coming in, obviously because of the rivalry game, the crowd was going to be crazy, but since we started off well, the crowd was pretty contained the whole night — not what it usually is — and I think that helped us out a lot,” Golden said.
VCU lost its second in a row, and neither has been close. They fell 106-79 at Dayton in their last start.
“We were playing not to lose instead of going out there and playing our game,” point guard Johnny Williams said.
“Awful night,” he said. “Just got to forget about it.”
The Spiders put the game away early in the second half, scoring 13 straight points to build a 55-35 lead. The Rams went six minutes without a point, missing all five of their shots from the field and committing two turnovers during the drought.
Richmond: The Spiders, who get 75 percent of their scoring from freshmen and sophomores, began the night as one of just eight schools in Division I to have five players averaging double-figure scoring.
VCU: The Rams, buried by 17 3-pointers in their loss at Dayton in their last game, tried that tactic against the Spiders, but managed to convert on just 4 of 23 attempts with four players making one each. They also were outrebounded, 38-28.
Richmond is at home against La Salle on Saturday afternoon.
VCU is at home against George Washington on Saturday afternoon.
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