RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With a chance to lock up the No. 3 seed in this week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament, the Spiders stumbled.
Matt Grace’s final three-point attempt did not beat the buzzer, sending Richmond to a 76-73 loss at the hands of St. Joseph’s. The Spiders never led in the contest, falling to a team that entered 0-9 in road games this season.
Each time Richmond would close the gap, the Hawks would respond. The Spiders used an 11-0 first half run to charge back and tie the game at 16, but a quick five points from St. Joseph’s opened the lead back up. Cameron Brown’s three-pointer with 2:36 remaining in the frame put the Hawks up ten, as Chris Mooney and company headed to the locker room at halftime trailing 34-25.
St. Joe’s started quickly in the second, holding a 12 point lead less than two minutes in. Once again, Richmond would chip away, trimming the advantage to two points, before the Hawks opened it back up to seven. Nathan Cayo’s lay-up tied the game at 59 with 5:08 to go, but the Spiders found themselves once again down seven with 1:09 to go.
Richmond didn’t fold, staying close enough to set up a dramatic final sequence. Isaiah Wilson’s lay-up pulled the Spiders within three at 76-73, and he would shoot a free throw with 1.7 seconds left in the game after being fouled. Wilson intentionally missed the foul shot and Richmond gained possession of the ball after it went out of bounds on the Hawks in the scramble. With 0.4 seconds on the clock, Grace caught the ball in the corner and heaved up a three-point attempt that found nothing but the bottom of the net. Initially it was ruled good, but was overturned upon video review.
Cayo scored a career-high 25 points to pace the Spiders, while Jacob Gilyard added 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Richmond played a good portion of the game without its two leading scorers. Blake Francis suffered a back contusion in the first half after falling hard during a lay-up attempt. He would try to return, but sat out the entire second half. Grant Golden, who was playing with a fractured finger, remained on the bench for the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The Spiders fall to 6-5 in the Atlantic 10 and will be the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament. They’ll face Duquesne on Thursday at 11:00 AM at the Siegel Center.
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