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No. 18 Auburn wears down Richmond in 79-65 win; Grant Golden reinjures left ankle

No. 18 Auburn wears down Richmond in 79-65 win; Grant Golden reinjures left ankle

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Richmond’s Grant Golden hurt his left ankle in the Spiders’ season-opener, and again against Auburn Tuesday night.

The University of Richmond didn’t capture a Legends Classic championship at Barclays Center in New York. Auburn did, with Tuesday night’s 79-65 win over the Spiders at Barclays Center.

UR, however, acquired some belief in its defense, which was the program’s soft spot the past two seasons. The Spiders (5-1) held down the No. 18 Tigers (7-0) for about 30 minutes before their athleticism, depth and aggressiveness wore down Richmond. UR led by one at halftime, 35-34, and trailed 56-49 with 10:30 remaining.

The Spiders held Wisconsin to 34% shooting in Monday night’s 62-52 win.

“We came a long way defensively,” said UR guard Jacob Gilyard (12 points, four assists, three steals). “I think we’re getting better each day.”

Said UR coach Chris Mooney, speaking of the Spiders’ Legends Classic experience: “There are a ton of positives … I think our defense has really taken a huge step forward.”

Richmond’s concern moving forward is the condition of Grant Golden’s left ankle. Golden, a 6-foot-10 junior who was averaging 12 points and nine rebounds, descended from a shot attempt and landed on the foot of Auburn big man Austin Wiley (18 points, eight rebounds in 22 minutes) with 1:46 left.

“We’re hoping that it’s nothing structural, but it’s certainly a setback,” said Mooney.

Golden stayed prone on the court for several minutes before being helped to the bench. Golden injured the same ankle in a similar way and had to be helped off the court during Richmond’s season-opening win over Saint Francis. He returned to that game a few minutes later.

Richmond has already met three Power Five opponents, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin and Auburn. The beat goes on Saturday, when Boston College visits the Robins Center at 2:30 p.m.

UR limited Auburn for more than a half, but the Tigers kept attacking inside and Richmond foul trouble played a role in the outcome. Auburn made 22 of 31 free throw attempts. Guard Samir Doughty (22 points), a 6-4 transfer from VCU a few years ago, led the Tigers with 22 points.

“We make you work to get it in. We make you work to bring it across. We just make you work and try and wear you down,” said Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.

Auburn shot 22 free throws (14 makes) in the disjointed opening half, during which UR missed 12 of 13 3-point attempts. Richmond played the last 8:20 of the first half without Golden, and the last 6:17 of the first half without 6-7 Nathan Cayo. Each had two fouls.

“(The Tigers’) length and athleticism and quickness have a way of making things difficult for you,” said Mooney.

The Spiders were converting 45 percent of their 3s, but went two of 18.

Golden and Gilyard were named to the Legends Classic all-tournament team.

In the 1984 NCAA tournament, the 12th-seeded Spiders eliminated fifth-seeded Auburn and its star, Charles Barkley, 72-71 in one of Richmond’s most notable March upsets. The programs hadn’t reunited until Tuesday night.

The Tigers, who went 30-10 last season and lost 63-62 to Virginia in the national semifinals, advanced to the Legends Classic title game by beating New Mexico 84-59 Monday night after Richmond handled Wisconsin. New Mexico beat Wisconsin 59-50 in Tuesday night’s third-place game.

FG FT Reb

AUBURN M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Okoro 23 4-6 1-1 2-6 1 4 9

Purifoy 33 3-7 6-7 2-9 0 1 13

Wiley 23 6-7 6-11 4-8 0 3 18

Doughty 34 7-16 6-8 1-1 3 0 22

McCrmck 29 2-9 2-2 1-5 6 1 7

McLemore 18 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 2 2

Johnson 17 2-3 0-0 1-3 1 2 5

Flanigan 13 1-3 1-2 3-4 0 3 3

Cambridge 6 0-5 0-0 1-3 0 1 0

Jones 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Akingbola 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Williams 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Franklin -- 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 26-60 22-31 16-41 12 17 79

Percentages: FG .433, FT .710. 3-Point Goals: 5-19, .263 (Doughty 2-6, Johnson 1-2, McCormick 1-3, Purifoy 1-3, Okoro 0-1, Cambridge 0-2, McLemore 0-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 13 (9 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Wiley 2, McLemore, Okoro). Turnovers: 13 (McCormick 4, Okoro 2, Purifoy 2, Wiley 2, Cambridge, Flanigan, McLemore). Steals: 7 (McLemore 3, McCormick 2, Doughty, Purifoy).

FG FT Reb

RICHMOND M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Cayo 31 2-5 4-4 0-6 0 2 8

Golden 21 7-12 0-0 3-6 1 3 14

Francis 35 3-14 1-2 1-3 1 2 7

Gilyard 36 6-12 0-0 0-3 4 2 12

Sherod 35 5-13 0-0 0-4 1 2 12

Gustavson 15 1-2 2-3 3-5 0 1 4

Koureissi 12 2-4 0-0 2-2 0 2 4

Burton 8 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 5 2

Wojcik 4 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 2

Grace 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0

Totals 200 28-65 7-9 9-30 7 21 65

Percentages: FG .431, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 2-18, .111 (Sherod 2-7, Burton 0-1, Gilyard 0-2, Golden 0-2, Francis 0-6). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 11 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Cayo, Golden). Turnovers: 11 (Francis 3, Golden 3, Sherod 2, Cayo, Grace, Gustavson). Steals: 5 (Gilyard 3, Burton, Francis).

Auburn 34 45 — 79

Richmond 35 30 — 65

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