Spiders suffer another 2nd half collapse in loss to St. Louis
Brooklyn, NY – Up by 11 just over 2 minutes into the second half, the Richmond Spiders had the St. Louis Billikens yelling at each other in frustration.
By the end of the game, the frustration had swung completely to the Spiders side of the court, as they fell 71-68 in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Richmond built a 6 point halftime lead behind 16 points from Grant Golden and another 8 from Jacob Gilyard as the Spiders shot 50% from the field as a team.
But in the second half, St. Louis out rebounded Richmond 27-6, including 14 on the offensive glass to take the lead for good with just under 4 minutes to play.
“I thought we played our hearts out and played a great game” said Richmond head coach Chris Mooney. “Obviously their offensive rebounding was the biggest difference for them and we just couldn’t come up with enough defensive rebounds.”
Hashan French did most of the damage with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Jordan Goodwin added another 9 points and 10 rebounds from the guard position and Tramaine Isabell hit several key shots in the second half on his way to a 17 point night.
Golden finished with 20 points but only 3 rebounds. Gilyard was also held to just 4 second half points finishing with 12 for the game. Nathan Cayo added 12 including his final basket which drew Richmond to within 1 with 14 seconds to play.
But the Billikens got the ball in the hands of Javon Bess who had 14 for the game. St. Louis struggled at the line all night but Bess made his final 2 free throws for the deciding margin.
In his post game comments, Golden mentioned the defections of DeMonte Buckingham and Khwan Fore and the season ending injury to Nick Sherod as significant factors in what added up to a disappointing 13-20 season.
“I’m always optimistic” Golden added. “I know the guys we have in that locker room. I know who’s going to be playing next year. Nick’s going to come back healthy. It’s tough but we’ll be ready to go.”
As apparently will their coach. Mooney has been the subject of frustration from a certain segment of the Spider fan base, but said earlier this week he felt he had the support of the UR administration. Nothing in their two games here in Brooklyn changed his mind about that.
“I think we’ve played well down the stretch” Mooney said. “I think we’ve done a lot of good things. Our talent is evident and what we could accomplish could be really special”
“We’re anxious to roll up our sleeves and get back to work”.