Strong second half lifts Richmond past UNCG
RICHMOND, Va. - Brandon Evans scored a career-high 22 points, but it wasn't enough to offset a 25-point afternoon by Richmond's David Gonzalvez as the Spiders defeated UNC Greensboro, 89-63, in men's basketball action Tuesday afternoon at Robins Center.
Gonzalvez was 9-of-15 from the floor to lead Richmond (9-3). He was one of four Spiders in double figures on the afternoon. Kevin Anderson added 16 points and had four steals and three blocks. The Spiders recorded 10 blocks and 15 steals on the afternoon.
Evans' quickness gave Richmond fits all afternoon, recording his first-ever 20-point game and topping his previous high of 19 set earlier this season in a win at USC Upstate. Evans, a redshirt junior from Jackson, Tenn., was the only Spartan in double figures and also had seven rebounds and three assists.
UNCG shot 43 percent from the floor (24-for-56), but was plagued by 20 turnovers that were converted into 26 Richmond points. The Spiders shot 55.4 percent from the floor (31-for-56), the third straight opponent to shoot 50 percent or better against the Spartans. Richmond was also 11-of-22 from three-point range.
UNCG outrebounded Richmond, 32-30, including 13 offensive rebounds. The Spartans couldn't convert, however, accumulating just nine second-chance points on the afternoon.
"We got it to six a couple of times and we had a couple of calls go against us and if that doesn't happen maybe it's different," said UNCG coach Mike Dement. "But they are a good team. It seemed like they make defensive mistakes and we make defensive mistakes. They get some open looks from those mistakes and we get open looks from their mistakes. The difference is that they knock down those shots. Gonzalvez knocked down a lot of shots.
The Spiders, coming off a win over No. 13 Florida on Saturday night, struggled early as the Spartans scored the first eight points of the game - six of them coming from Evans. However, after an early timeout, Richmond responded with 10 straight points to begin a 15-2 run and get back into the game.
The Spartans continued to hang around, trailing by two 29-27 after a Kyle Randall runner from the baseline with 3:20 left before the break. But along with a controversial charge call went against UNCG, the Spiders went on an 11-2 run and headed to the locker room with a 40-31 lead. Instead of Ben Stywall going to the free throw line down five, the charge call gave Richmond the ball and the run continued.
UNCG (2-8) hung around early in the second half, trimming the deficit to six a couple of times, but Kevin Anderson's trey started an 8-2 spurt by the Spiders gave them their biggest to that point, 59-46 with 12:20 to play. UNCG didn't get back to within single digits after that.
"It seemed like every time we would get on a little run, they would come back and hit a three-pointer," said Dement. "We weren't very strong with the ball, either, today, and that is a real problem."
Senior Ben Stywall, a native of Charlotte, N.C., finished with nine points and nine rebounds for UNCG. The nine rebounds moved him into fourth place on the school's career rebounding list with 725, three better than Demetrius Cherry.
The Spartans take a break for the Christmas holiday, returning to action on December 28 when they host Wake Forest at the Greensboro Coliseum. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
RICHMOND 89, UNCG 63
Brandon Evans 8-15 5-6 22; Ben Stywall 4-5 1-2 9; Kendall Toney 3-9 0-0 8; Korey Van Dussen 3-8 2-2 8; Elhanan Bone 2-3 2-4 6; Kyle Randall 1-8 2-2 4; Deangelo Jackson 1-1 0-0 2; Pete Brown 1-3 0-2 2; Brian Cole 1-3 0-0 2; Montel Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0; Mikko Koivisto 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 12-18 63.
David Gonzalvez 9-15 4-5 25; Kevin Anderson 6-11 2-2 16; Dan Geriot 4-9 5-10 13; Justin Harper 4-7 1-2 10; Francis Martel 3-3 0-0 8; Darien Brothers 1-1 2-2 5; Conor Smith 2-2 0-0 5; Josh Duinker 1-2 2-2 4; Ryan Butler 1-4 0-0 3; Kevin Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Darrius Garrett 0-1 0-0 0; Greg Robbins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-56 16-23 89.
Halftime: Richmond 40-31. 3-point goals--UNCG 3-14 (Kendall Toney 2-6; Brandon Evans 1-3; Korey Van Dussen 0-2; Elhanan Bone 0-1; Kyle Randall 0-2), RICHMOND 11-22 (David Gonzalvez 3-8; Francis Martel 2-2; Kevin Anderson 2-3; Justin Harper 1-2; Darien Brothers 1-1; Ryan Butler 1-3; Conor Smith 1-1; Greg Robbins 0-1; Josh Duinker 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-Brian Cole, RICHMOND-None. Rebounds--UNCG 32 (Ben Stywall 9), RICHMOND 30 (Darrius Garrett 5; Francis Martel 5). Assists--UNCG 7 (Brandon Evans 3; Kyle Randall 3), RICHMOND 16 (Francis Martel 5). Total fouls--UNCG 17, RICHMOND 14. Technical fouls--UNCG-TEAM, RICHMOND-None. A-3127
FREE THROWS: The game was just the second ever meeting between the two schools. Richmond defeated UNCG, 83-72, at the Dr. Pepper Classic in Chattanooga back on Dec. 30, 1997... the game was the first of five straight against RPI Top 100 opponents for UNCG. Richmond came into play Tuesday with an RPI rank of 21... it was the seventh time in 10 games this season that an opponent shot 50 percent or better in the opening half... the Spartans will return to campus for practice on the 26th.
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