Written by Noah Goldberg
The Spiders’ shooting woes continued tonight as they dropped their fourth straight game. A home loss against St. Bonaventure’s, the first time the Bonnies have won in Robins in nearly 10 years, sends Richmond to 1-6 in the A10.
Sophomores Jacob Gilyard and Nathan Cayo led the team with 19 and 14 points respectively. Grant Golden also contributed, adding in 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Bonnie’s freshman guard Kyle Lofton has been a budding star in the A10 this year. Leading his team in scoring this year, he dropped 21 points on the night. His head coach Mark Schmidt praised his play this season, “Kyle Lofton is going to be a terrific player for us. As a freshman he leads us, he’s the quarterback.” Senior forward Courtney Stockard also scored 18 and grabbed 8 rebounds, one of three Bonnies players to get eight or more.
After getting their zone defense picked apart by St. Joe’s last Wednesday, Richmond head coach Chris Mooney made a rare switch to man-to-man. It proved very effective in the first five minutes and really limited the Bonnies’ opportunities all game. The Spiders held them to 66 points on 42% shooting.
While the defense was solid, Richmond just couldn’t find the bottom of the net all night. In fact, that’s been the story of their entire four game skid. Having been in the upper half of the A10 in ppg from three, they’ve shot a meek 24% from deep over the four game losing streak. This has allowed teams, as the Bonnies did tonight, to easily double team Golden and Cayo down low while leaving shooters open. The looks from the perimeter have been good over the four games; shooters simply haven’t been able to convert. Asked about the quality of Richmond’s shots coach Mooney responded, “Those are the shots that we practice and we take and we’re confident the guys will make. And of course you need a couple to go down at a critical time.” The free throw shooting has also been a major concern all season. As a team they’re below 68% on the season and were 13-21 tonight.
Moving forward the Spiders will look to improve both their shooting and rebounding. Ranking dead last in the conference in that category, they were outrebounded by 14, including 11 offensive rebounds for the Bonnies. While those only led to six second chance points, this severely limits potential transition offensive opportunities for the Spiders, something they could really capitalize on with a starting lineup that features three quick guards.
Unable to overcome their shooting woes, the Spiders fell to the Bonnies by a final score of 66-57. Richmond heads to Missouri on Wednesday where they’ll face an incredibly difficult St. Louis University team. The Spiders sit at 7-13 (1-6), just a half of a game ahead of Umass for the third to last spot in the A10.