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Richmond builds 24-point lead, holds off Vanderbilt 78-67

December 16, 2020 GMT
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Richmond guard Jacob Gilyard, left, passes as Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Nashville. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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Richmond guard Jacob Gilyard, left, passes as Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Nashville. (AP Photo/John Amis)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blake Francis scored 21 points, Grant Golden had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Richmond used a big first half to beat Vanderbilt 78-67 on Wednesday.

Richmond controlled the first half, building a double-digit lead after just six minutes and leading by 24 points at halftime after making 18-of-25 shots (72%). Francis had 14 points at the break, missing just two shots.

Vanderbilt was just 6-of-23 shooting (26.1%) in the first half, but got it within single digits, 63-54, on a 3-pointer by Trey Thomas with 10:06 left in the second half. Nathan Cayo converted a three-point play for Richmond and Crabtree added two free throws on their next possession to keep it in double figures the rest of the game.

Francis was 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from distance, to score 20-plus for the 20th time in his college career. Golden passed T.J. Cline (632) for the sixth-most made field goals in program history.

Tyler Burton and Cayo each scored 13 points for Richmond (5-1). Jacob Gilyard added eight points with five assists and six steals.

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It matches Richmond’s best six-game start under Chris Mooney, who took over the program in the 2005-06 season. The Spiders received 140 votes in the latest AP Top 25 poll, two behind No. 25 Michigan.

Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 25 points for Vanderbilt (2-1). Jordan Wright had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Thomas added 15 points.

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