NEW YORK — University of Richmond star guard Jacob Gilyard made sure that the painful act of turning the page from one of the most heartbreaking losses in the the school’s recent memory quickly became a memorable moment in a storied collegiate career — and more importantly, a Spiders win.
Gilyard tied a career high with 31 points, and his three-pointer midway through the second half started a decisive 9-0 run in the Spiders’ 83-70 victory over the Fordham Rams at Rose Hill Gym on Tuesday evening. Three other Spiders scored in double figures, who ended the game shooting 50 percent from the field (29-of-58).
The Rams cut their deficit to 62-61 midway thought the second half before Gilyard had a hand in each of the game’s next nine points that broke the game open. His three-pointer from the right wing, his sixth and final long-range basket, gave Richmond a four-point advantage. On the next possession, Gilyard was open for a three straightaway but then quickly passed it up to teammate Matt Grace, who knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing for a 68-61 lead.
“We had talked about matching Fordham’s physicality but also still showing our skills and passing that we emphasized,” Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said. “I thought we did a good job of that, and I think that [Gilyard pass to Grace] kind of emphasized that.”
Gilyard ended the run with an and-1 on fast-break layup to open up a 71-61 lead, and the Spiders’ lead remained double digits for almost the rest of the contest.
The win allowed Richmond to put the bad taste of the last-second defeat on Friday against Atlantic 10 leader Davidson, then the Spiders scored five points late to tie the game, only for the Wildcats to hit a last-second three to escape from the Robins Center still undefeated in conference play.
“That was really hard. We’re at home, we kind of executed great down the stretch to tie the game, then a guy makes a really long shot with somebody on him. That’s really really difficult to overcome,” Mooney said about bouncing back from the loss against Davidson. “The hardest thing about sports is you got to go play the next game, no matter what. The best thing about sports is that you get to play the next game. We just tried to balance that.”
Darius Quisenberry led Fordham with 23 points and eight assists while Chuba Ohams Jr. produced a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Fordham will have its shot to deal with Davidson when the Wildcats come to Rose Hill on Saturday afternoon.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with all photos taken by ALOST senior photographer Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 12 pictures in total.