RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Numbers jumped off the page after Richmond’s 84-74 victory against Wake Forest on Saturday night, including one that became part of the pages of Spiders’ history.
The victory was the 240th of coach Chris Mooney’s career with the Spiders, moving him past Dick Tarrant as the winningest coach in program history. But Mooney liked the other numbers, too.
“Twenty-one assists tonight and three turnovers is really an incredible number,” the coach in his 14th season said. “A great great number. Some improvement showing on defense. Not only did we get steals and create turnovers, but we also defensively rebounded the ball down the stretch, we made things difficult for them. … I thought we were stingy and pretty tough.”
Richmond (3-5) forced 15 turnovers by the Demon Deacons (4-3) and enjoyed a 28-2 advantage in points off those miscues. They also outscored Wake Forest 42-24 in the paint.
Grant Golden scored 24 points and Nathan Cayo had 17 for Richmond, which led 38-37 at halftime and shot nearly 54 percent (14-26) in the second half and made 18 of 21 free throws.
Richmond snapped a four-game losing streak and now has beaten the Demon Deacons in five of its last nine meetings. It’s also beaten a Power Five team in 13 of Mooney’s 14 seasons.
“On offense, we were able to dictate how we wanted to play,” Mooney said.
Olivier Sarr dunked and hit a jumper, Brandon Childress scored at the basket and Wake Forest took a 43-40 lead with 17:08 left in the second half, but Cayo scored six points in an 11-0 run that put the Spiders in front for good. Cayo pushed the lead to 10 points with a jumper with 3:00 left and Andre Gustavson’s layup with :36 left pushed it to a dozen points.
“We had a lot of live-ball turnovers, and that’s something that really hurt us in transition,” Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning said.
Jacob Gilyard added 14 points, nine assists, five steals and no turnovers in 38 minutes for the Spiders, even after Mooney indicated before the game that his minutes would be limited.
“Really I regret taking him out before the end of the first half,” Mooney said, laughing. “It’s tough. There’s such a high level of trust there from the coaching staff to him on every part of the floor.”
Golden was 10 of 20 from the field and collected his fourth straight game with 20 or more points, the first Spider to accomplish that feat since T.J. Cline did it in 2017.
Childress and Isaiah Mucius each had 17 points for Wake Forest (4-3).
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are struggling. In their last three games, they lost at home to Houston Baptist, had to rally to beat Western Carolina and faded after halftime against Richmond.
Richmond: The Spiders have already surpassed their number of non-conference victories this season despite having banished their best player, De’Monte Buckingham, after last season and losing one of their best player, Nick Sherod, to a knee injury for the season this year.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons are at home against Charlotte on Thursday.
Richmond: The Spiders hoist Coppin State on Wednesday.
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