Spi­ders dis­play a new vigor

UR’s in­ten­sity in road vic­tory too much for GW

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

WASH­ING­TON — Nathan Cayo went to the floor for a first-half loose ball and Julius John­son did the same a few min­utes later. Pre­vi­ously in the Univer­sity of Rich­mond’s sea­son, those plays weren’t of­ten seen.

And this wasn’t heard from the op­pos­ing coach: “Guys we’re get­ting out­toughed! Play harder!” Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton’s Mau­rice Joseph yelled that to his Colo­nials dur­ing an early-game time­out.

The Spi­ders dis­played a fresh edge Satur­day at the Smith Cen­ter, where they avoided the first 0-3 A-10 start in pro­gram his­tory by beat­ing the Colo­nials 76-56. Cayo, a 6-foot-7 sopho­more, shut down GW’s lead­ing scorer, 6-7 Illi­nois trans­fer DJ Wil­liams (5 points on 1-of-10 shoot­ing), and scored 18, with seven re­bounds, three as­sists and two blocks.

“We’ve come out with no en­ergy the last two games, so we were re­ally fo­cused on try­ing to be

very en­er­getic, and com­pet­ing, and fight­ing ev­ery pos­ses­sion,” said Cayo, re­fer­ring to losses to Day­ton and Rhode Is­land.

UR (7-9, 1-2 A-10) was up 53-42 with 10:15 re­main­ing be­fore sopho­more guard Ja­cob Gil­yard (12 points), who was av­er­ag­ing 16 points, scored his first point. That was a sign of Rich­mond’s across-the­board of­fen­sive ef­fi­ciency (54 per­cent shoot­ing), and UR coach Chris Mooney rec­og­nized this as “def­i­nitely our best de­fen­sive game.”

GW shot 32 per­cent. The Colo­nials (5-11, 1-2 A-10) were be­hind only 35-32 at half­time, but UR got three 3s from fresh­man Jake Wo­j­cik (12 points) in the first five min­utes of the sec­ond half, fuel for a 50-37 lead. GW never threat­ened there­after. Rich­mond post man Grant Golden scored 17 on 5-of-8 shoot­ing.

Rich­mond made a change in the start­ing lineup it had been us­ing, plug­ging in 6-4 fresh­man An­dre Gus­tavson for 6-3 John­son, who was av­er­ag­ing 3.7 points and shoot­ing 32.1 per­cent. With Gus­tavson among the first five, UR started three sopho­mores and two fresh­men. Gus­tavson scored 8 of Rich­mond’s first 11 points.

“We made some shots early, and Nate gave us a few sec­ond-chance op­por­tu­ni­ties early on with of­fen­sive re­bounds, which re­ally helped us,” Golden said. “That good start is what re­ally helped us through­out the game.”

Both teams were play­ing their third league game in six days. Joseph said he be­lieved that caught up with the Colo­nials. “It was us be­ing not tough enough, and play­ing with kind of heavy legs,” he said.

Com­pet­ing against one of the few A-10 teams on which Rich­mond has a size ad­van­tage, the Spi­ders out­re­bounded the Colo­nials 38-25.

“Nate was on the boards hard from the be­gin­ning, and I think that re­ally helped him get go­ing on the of­fen­sive end,” Golden said.

Rich­mond ar­rived rank­ing No. 338 among 351 Divi­sion I teams in field goal-per­cent­age de­fense (48.5), but didn’t al­low the Colo­nials good looks.

“Take away tran­si­tion. First pat­tern they have, be on that,” Mooney said. “Then mix in an op­por­tunis­tic steal or make them take a re­ally hard shot, and then I think all of a sud­den it starts to be a tough game for the op­po­nent.”

Next: Duquesne vis­its UR on Wed­nes­day night. Since join­ing the A-10, the Spi­ders are 22-1 against the Dukes.

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