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Richmond stunts men’s basketball’s two-game win streak

Arielle Bader | Senior Photo Editor
Freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr. goes up for a dunk in the squad’s loss to Richmond. The Spiders topped the Colonials 76–54 Saturday.

Four minutes into the second half, Richmond sophomore guard Andre Gustavson picked the ball from freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr. and charged down the court toward GW’s basket, lofting the ball into the air for freshman forward Tyler Burton to lay in the hoop.

The turnover was No. 13 of 18 for the Colonials (9-12, 4-5 A-10), which the Spiders (16-6, 6-3 A-10) capitalized on throughout the game. Richmond netted 22 points from GW’s turnovers, helping to decide their 76–54 feat over GW Saturday.

“We’re a team that has to move the ball and keep the ball moving and we just didn’t do that great in the first half,” head coach Jamion Christian said. “When you turn the ball over against good teams, they’re going to turn those into points quickly, and that’s Richmond.”

The Colonials had a quiet day from the three-point line, sinking just 5-of-22 attempts for 22.7 percent. On the season, the squad fires at a .331 clip – good for No. 8 in the Atlantic 10.

Junior guard Maceo Jack and freshman forward Jamison Battle typically lead the squad from deep, draining 34.3 percent and 39.3 percent of their shots from three-point territory, respectively. But against the Spiders, the duo netted a combined two shots on 14 attempts from beyond the arc.

“Our inability to really get going from outside really slowed us down today and that’s something that we rely on,” Christian said. “We take a lot of threes, half our shots come from three. We defended their threes really well, but I think percentage-wise, our defense was pretty good tonight. It was really our offense that really hurt us.”

[gwh_image id=”1109748″ credit=”Sabrina Godin | Staff Photographer” align=”none” size=”embedded-img”]Men’s basketball huddles before the game against Richmond Saturday.[/gwh_image]

The Colonials were without redshirt senior guard Armel Potter, who sustained an injury in the squad’s victory against Davidson Wednesday. Potter handles the ball for the team and dishes out a team-leading 5.5 assists per game.

“Without him, the team changes a little bit,” Christian said. “I think it can be as good or better because I believe in the guys in that locker room. We just have to do a great job as a coaching staff to try and figure out ways to get to the free throw line more and the use of talents that we do have.”

The Colonials jumped on the board first to kick off the game. Freshman forward Chase Paar stole the ball off a bad pass from redshirt junior forward Grant Golden, and Nelson Jr. hit the layup to put the Colonials ahead.

Golden bounced back to hit a fast break layup in the paint to even the score. He then gave the Spiders their first lead of the night with another layup in the lane. Golden led all scorers with 20 points.

The Colonials momentarily reclaimed the lead at the 13 minute mark off a jump shot in the paint from senior forward Arnaldo Toro. Toro finished the night with three points in nine minutes of action.

Richmond immediately took back the lead after Golden sunk another layup. The Spiders worked the lead up to five before jump shots from sophomore guard Amir Harris and Paar brought it back down to one. A three-pointer from Gustavson sent Richmond on a 14-0 run.

Richmond added onto the lead until the end of the half, heading into the locker room ahead by 17 points.

“We’ve just done a great job all year long of getting shots every time down the floor and for whatever reason today against Richmond, we just didn’t move the ball the way we had been in the past,” Christian said.

The second half opened with a back-and-forth sequence starting with a Richmond layin. Harris sunk a layup and Richmond responded with a layup of its own. Nelson Jr. ended the back-and-forth by draining a shot from deep.

With the lead down to 16, Nelson Jr. jumped into a passing lane to nab his second steal of the game. The two barreled down the court, and Nelson Jr. dished the ball to Harris, who slammed it into the hoop.

[gwh_image id=”1109745″ credit=”Eric Lee | Staff Photographer” align=”none” size=”embedded-img”]Sophomore guard Amir Harris hangs on the rim after dunking on a fast break during the game against Richmond. The Colonials fell to the Spiders 76–54.[/gwh_image]

Harris finished the night with his first double-double as a Colonial, netting 11 points and ripping 10 boards. Nelson Jr. was the other Colonial to finish in double figures, sinking 11 points.

Richmond went on an eight-point run with less than 12 minutes to play, extending the lead to 25 points. The Colonials began to chip away at the lead, but the Spiders worked it back up to 26 points.

The deficit hovered in the 20-point range for the rest of the contest. Richmond topped GW 76–54.

“We’ve got to play tougher,” Christian said. “Just be a tougher team mentally and physically and be able to let things in the past go. I think we take that from it. We’ve done a great job of learning all year long. We’re going to cut the film up and look at it.”

The Colonials are back in action Wednesday on the road at St. Bonaventure. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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