RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Richmond had not played a game in two weeks and it showed, especially on the defensive end.
The Spiders struggled to get into rhythm and could not figure out La Salle’s zone defense for most of the day, falling to the Explorers, 84-78, at the Robins Center on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops them to 9-4, 3-2 in Atlantic 10 play.
Richmond opened up a seven point lead with 7:11 to play in the first half, but a 9-0 La Salle run quickly flipped the script and put the Spiders in a 31-29 hole with 4:54 left in the frame. The two teams would see-saw back and forth heading towards halftime with Richmond holding a 40-39 advantage at the break.
La Salle came out of the gate hot in the second, going in front and swelling the gap to 53-46 with 16:03 left on the clock. Richmond, however, had more left in the tank, using a 13-4 run to take a 59-57 lead with 7:24 remaining. The defense could not hold off the Explorers, though, as the visitors went back on top and opened up another seven point advantage and made their free throws down the stretch.
Ashley Howard’s La Salle squad shot 57 percent from the floor in the win, with the bench outscoring its Richmond counterparts, 34-2.
The Spiders connected on all 24 of their free-throw attempts.
Grant Golden led all scorers with 22 points, while Blake Francis chipped in 21 points. Tyler Burton chipped in a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Nathan Cayo contributed 12 points. Sherif Kenney led six La Salle players in double figures with 17 points.
Richmond resumed basketball activities on Wednesday after being on pause due to COVID-19 since January 12. The Spiders had not played a game since January 9, a 20 point win at George Mason, but saw two games postponed during the stoppage.
Chris Mooney’s team will look to rebound on Tuesday at St. Joseph’s.
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