Spiders bounce back, blast Vanderbilt

Spiders bounce back, blast Vanderbilt
Blake Francis (Source: University of Richmond)

NASHVILLE, TN (WWBT) - Blake Francis scored 21 points and Richmond opened up a 24 point halftime lead, fueling the Spiders to a 78-67 win over Vanderbilt in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon. The team’s 5-1 record matches the best start in Chris Mooney’s 16 seasons as head coach.

Richmond wasted no time coming out of the gate, jumping out to a 20-5 lead and used a 77 percent shooting performance to go into the locker room up 45-21 at halftime. The Commodores would chip away and pull to within nine midway through the second half, but the Spiders were able to handle the run and hold them off, grabbing a key road victory over an SEC opponent.

Francis added four assists to his team-high point total. Grant Golden contributed 14 points and eight rebounds, while Nathan Cayo and Tyler Burton chipped in 13 points apiece. Jacob Gilyard scored eight points, dished out five assists and picked up six steals in a strong showing. Vanderbilt’s Scottie Pippen Jr. led all scorers with 25 points.

The victory comes on the heels of Richmond’s 87-71 loss at West Virginia on Sunday, as the Spiders bounced back in impressive fashion. Mooney and company only lost back-to-back games twice last season and avoided that on Wednesday. The head coach also improved to 7-5 against SEC teams during his tenure at the head of the Spider bench.

Last season, these two clubs battled down to the wire at the Robins Center, with Richmond edging the Commodores, 93-92, in overtime.

The Spiders have a quick turnaround as they’ll face Loyola-Chicago on Friday at 6:00 PM in Indianapolis.

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