“I thought the environment was incredible. The way the two teams battled and played was tremendous, it’s what college basketball is all about. A rivalry game like this usually can bring out the best in you in terms of your effort. ” Mooney said. “I’m thrilled for our guys and for our program, this was a great, great win.”
The Spiders rallied from seven points down with just 42 seconds left to play – to extended the game into overtime where Richmond took control and won 86 – 74.
“The team that puts it into overtime feels like it has an advantage that’s for sure,” Mooney said. “In overtime it just seemed like we clicked and we were just moving so fast and so well, suddenly making those shots that we hadn’t necessarily throughout the second half. So really, really a great win.”
Though they play every year, Thursday’s game was the first time the Spiders and Rams faced off as A10 Conference rivals. The Rams joined the Spiders in the A10 this season after previously competing in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The teams are scheduled to play again on March 6 at the VCU Siegel Center.
“You kind of have to hold serve at home,” Mooney said. “You have to put yourself in a position to win games at home. It’s so hard to win games on the road.”
Coach Mooney hopes Thursday’s big win helps set the tone for the remainder of the season.
“I think we’re pretty good. I really would like to see us as we get better and add Derrick (Williams) back to the mix,” he said. “We can get better as we add in one of our best players back, I hope that means good things.”
The Spiders play again on Sunday afternoon at the University of Massachusetts.