Lancers shock Spi­ders

UR goes 6 for 16 from free throw line in sea­son opener

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SPORTS - BY JOHN O’CON­NOR

While Long­wood cel­e­brated one of the big­gest bas­ket­ball wins in school his­tory, the Uni­ver­sity of Rich­mond en­dured a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son-open­ing head-scratcher.

The Lancers got a tiebreak­ing 3-pointer from Lorenzo Phillips with 1:10 left and the Spi­ders went 6 of 16 from the free throw line in Long­wood’s 63-58 vic­tory

led be­fore 6,717

Long­wood at the Robins

with 23 Cen­ter on Fri­day

points and night.

12 re­bounds. Rich­mond fell 76-63 to Delaware in last sea­son’s opener.

“Tonight’s a spe­cial night for us,” said Griff Aldrich, Long­wood’s first-year coach. “To be able to come into the Robins Cen­ter and come out with a vic­tory is a big feat for us. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys right now. And less, hon­estly, on the win­ning, but on their level of com­pet­i­tive­ness.”

Rich­mond trailed by 10 in the first half, and then took an 8-point lead with 11:57 re­main­ing. Long­wood scrapped back, which

de­lighted Aldrich, who was on UMBC’s staff last year.

Ver­sa­tile guard Isa­iah Wal­ton led the Lancers (2-0) with 23 points and 12 re­bounds as Long­wood out­re­bounded Rich­mond 41-31. Rich­mond was picked to fin­ish 10th in the A-10. Long­wood was picked to fin­ish 10th in the Big South Con­fer­ence.

With seven new­com­ers among 12 schol­ar­ship play­ers, UR didn’t have the co­he­sion or of­fen­sive op­tions of the Lancers, though they also had seven new play­ers. The Spi­ders needed two 3-point­ers in the last 1:10 of the first half to cut the Lancers’ lead to 34-33 at half­time.

“We weren’t good de­fen­sively. We weren’t good of­fen­sively,” UR sopho­more guard Ja­cob Gil­yard said. “To­day wasn’t on any of our younger guys. It was on me, [ju­nior Nick Sherod and sopho­more Grant Golden]. We’re ex­pected to lead the team. I thought I was ready to lead the team. I’m not.

“We just didn’t play well.” Had Long­wood not com­mit­ted a dozen firsthalf turnovers while rush­ing in an up­tempo of­fense, it could have led by more than 10, its big­gest ad­van­tage, with 3:16 be­fore in­ter­mis­sion. The Lancers shot 52 per­cent in the open­ing 20 min­utes.

Gil­yard led Rich­mond with 15 points, and also had five as­sists and six steals. Golden, a 6-foot-10 sopho­more, scored 14 for UR.

But the Lancers pro­hib­ited Rich­mond from con­sis­tently get­ting good shots. UR made 38.3 per­cent.

“We had a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. We shot the ball so poorly,” said Rich­mond coach Chris Mooney, who added that of­fen­sive strug­gles caused the Spi­ders “to press a lit­tle bit.”

Aldrich said a Lancers’ scrim­mage against Wil­liam & Mary a cou­ple of weeks ago helped Long­wood de­fend Rich­mond, since UR and W&M op­er­ate sim­i­larly on of­fense.

“I’m not sure [the Spi­ders] got a bucket on a back-cuts tonight,” Aldrich said. “That was a real em­pha­sis for us. We just said, ‘If they’re go­ing to beat us, they’re go­ing to beat us with con­tested 3s.’”

UR was 6 for 26 from 3-point dis­tance.

Next: The Spi­ders stay home and face St. Fran­cis Brook­lyn at 11 a.m. Wed­nes­day. This is an Ed­u­ca­tion Day spe­cial, de­signed for school-age chil­dren who will at­tend with their classes.

The Ter­ri­ers, picked to fin­ish sev­enth among 10 in the North­east Con­fer­ence pre­sea­son poll, beat Di­vi­sion III Medgar Evers 92-42 Wed­nes­day and play at Bos­ton Col­lege on Sun­day.

“We weren’t good de­fen­sively. We weren’t good of­fen­sively. ... I thought I was ready to lead the team. I’m not.” Ja­cob Gil­yard, Spi­ders sopho­more guard

LONG­WOOD 63, RICH­MOND 58Wed­nes­day: St. Fran­cis (N.Y.) at Rich­mond, 11 a.m., NBCSW

Ver­sa­tile guardIsa­iah Wal­ton

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