Spiders rally past Rhode Island for Mooney’s 300th win

Spiders rally past Rhode Island for Mooney’s 300th win
Richmond head coach Chris Mooney watches his Spiders during a 76-71 loss to Hofstra on December 22, 2020. (Source: WWBT NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Jacob Gilyard scored 22 points to lead all five Richmond starters in double figures as Richmond downed Rhode Island, 80-73, at the Robins Center on Wednesday night. The victory marks Chris Mooney’s 300th Division I head coaching win.

The Spiders led by as many as seven points at multiple times in the first half, but the Rams kept them from pulling away. Fatts Russell hit one of two free throws to send the teams into halftime with Richmond holding a narrow 35-34 advantage.

Rhode Island would take the lead on a Jeremy Sheppard three-pointer to start the second half, but the Spiders would respond, opening up their advantage to eight at several points in the frame. Gilyard’s triple with 1:47 remaining put Richmond in front, 76-68, sealing the victory.

Gilyard’s 22 points included six three pointers and he added five steals. Grant Golden scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Blake Francis chipped in 15 points. Nathan Cayo contributed 14 points and Tyler Burton scored 11 points to round out the Richmond high-scorers. Russell led his squad with 18 points.

The John Marshall graduate Sheppard shined in the first leg of his homecoming, scoring 11 points in 21 minutes. He’s averaging 9.7 points per game on the season, his first in a Rhode Island uniform. Sheppard and the Rams will remain in Richmond as they visit VCU on Saturday.

Richmond’s defensive effort looked better on Wednesday night. The Spiders forced 16 Rhody turnovers, while only committing seven themselves.

The Spiders return to action on Saturday as they head to Fairfax to face George Mason. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM.

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