Gilyard, defense lead Richmond to upset of George Mason

Gilyard, defense lead Richmond to upset of George Mason

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond scored 32 points off 20 George Mason turnovers en route to an 81-67 win over the Patriots at the Robins Center on Wednesday night. The Spiders led by as many as 22 in the second half and held off a surge by Mason in the closing minutes to secure their second win in their last three games.

Sophomore Jacob Gilyard led all players with 28 points and six steals while adding six assists and five rebounds. He is just the fourth Division I player to reach those totals in a game in the last eight seasons and the first since FIU's Brian Beard did it against USF on December 11, 2017.

The Spiders used an 11-2 run to take a five-point lead and force a George Mason timeout at the 15-minute mark of the first half. After the Patriots came back to tie the game, Gilyard, Noah Yates and Andre Gustavson sparked another Richmond run to make it 25-17 midway through the half.

GIlyard continued to dominate from deep. His third three-pointer and a layup from Grant Golden made it 30-19 and forced another George Mason timeout with nine minutes to play in the period. Both teams struggled to score in the closing minutes of the half, with Richmond holding onto a 37-30 advantage heading into the break.

The Spiders raced out of intermission, scoring 10 points in the first 2:40 of the second half to push their lead to 13 at 47-34. Richmond stretched its advantage to 22 with 10-0 run midway through the second half that included three steals by Gilyard in a span of 90 seconds.

The Patriots, who entered the game 7-2 in A-10 play, refused to yield. Mason put together a 15-0 spurt to cut their deficit to seven with less than four minutes to play.

Richmond answered with a pair of layups from Grant Golden to end the threat and closed out the game at the foul line.

The Spiders 14 steals were their most against an A-10 opponent since 2010 (14 vs Dayton) and the 20 turnovers forced by the Spiders were their most in an A-10 game since the 2016-17 season.

Richmond returns to action on Saturday when George Washington visits the Robins Center for a 6:00pm tip-off. The Spiders won an earlier meeting between the teams in Washington, DC, 76-56.

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