Strong 2nd Half Lifts Spiders
The #19 Richmond Spiders defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers by a score of 78-68 tonight at the Robins Center. The Spiders got off to a hot start from the field, but then cooled off significantly throughout the half, including 9 total turnovers just in the 1st half, and finished with 13. They held the Panthers to 3-19 from deep, and survived a 1st half 18-3 run, only trailing by 2 at the break. The Panthers were in the bonus with 10:52 left in the opening frame of this one, with both Gustavson and Francis picking up 2 in the first twenty minutes.
On a night where Nathan Cayo didn’t have his best stuff, Tyler came in and filled the void with no problem. He finished with a career high 21 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Spiders to victory tonight. He shot 7-9 from the field, including knocking down 3 3-pointers. This kid is a special talent, and he showed just that tonight. Grant Golden registered a double-double as well, scoring 17 points and snagging 11 rebounds in the Richmond victory. Jacob Gilyard once again was a thief on the defensive side, finishing with 4 steals, 12 points, and 11 assists on the night. He has to be a nightmare to prepare for, because even though it’s known that he is a ball thief, you never see him coming. He was the 3rd Spider to have a double-double tonight. Blake Francis had a quiet 16 points in the victory, and he played with some serious aggression for all 37 minutes that he was on the court. Some solid 2nd half adjustments gave the Spiders a solid victory tonight. Interior defense was not good at times, but adjustments were made and it showed. Once again, this was a game that never seemed to get out of Richmond’s control throughout. There is a sense of calmness with this squad, and that could be credited to the experience on the roster. Despite a sloppy start, they settled in quite nicely and ended the night with a 10 point win.
Up next for the Spiders will be a top 25 matchup in Morgantown, West Virginia, where they will take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Sunday (1:00/ESPN). From there, they will head to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores, before ending the week at home with conference foe, Duquesne on Saturday night. For all up to date Richmond basketball news, make sure to follow @A10Talk on Twitter and @AustinDaisey11. We will see you on Sunday Spider Nation!