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Jacob Gilyard’s quickness as a defender and as a driver, as well as his shooting, helped Richmond against Boston College on Saturday at the Robins Center.

It took Richmond a half to figure out the best path forward without 6-foot-10 starter Grant Golden, unavailable because of an ankle sprain. Then Boston College couldn’t figure out the Spiders.

Richmond went from a 1-point deficit at halftime to a 21-point lead with 8 minutes left, shooting 3-pointers, scoring in transition, and harassing the Eagles into 18 turnovers. The Spiders’ 64-44 win Saturday at the Robins Center has them off to a 6-1 start, with the only loss delivered by No. 18 Auburn.

Without the presence of Golden (12 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game), around whom UR’s offense revolves, the Spiders struggled early. But defensive pressure got UR scoring on breaks, and guards Jacob Gilyard (22 points, six assists, eight rebounds, five steals) and Blake Francis (18 points) took it from there, with 6-7 freshman Tyler Burton supplying defensive heat (four steals) and board work (five rebounds).

“For us to win any game without Grant Golden is significant and impressive,” UR coach Chris Mooney said. “I can’t tell you how much Grant means to us in every single way.”

The Spiders started 6-9 sophomore Souleymane “Sal” Koureissi in place of Golden, and another 6-9 sophomore, Matt Grace, got an opportunity. But it was Burton who helped stabilize Richmond inside. UR played stretches with Burton as its tallest player.

“We were able to get stops at the beginning of the second half and get out and run, and I think that’s when we’re at our best,” Gilyard said.

Richmond converted seven of its nine 3-pointers in the second half.

“We didn’t play as hard defensively [after the break] and they made shots, they got in a good rhythm,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “They kept doing the things that they do and we stopped doing the things we did well in the first half.”

With about a minute left in the first half, Spiders starting forward Nathan Cayo went down with a right ankle injury.

He returned to start the second half.

The Spiders fell behind 23-14, and then began applying pressure that helped cause BC’s 11 first-half turnovers, and UR’s transition scoring. The Eagles didn’t seem interested in going inside to take advantage of Golden’s absence.

“Our post guy [6-11, 260-pound senior Nik Popovic] should’ve probably went inside more, but he plays on the perimeter, too,” Christian said.

Boston College (4-4) was picked 13th in the 15-team ACC preseason poll, and came off Wednesday’s 64-54 loss to visiting Saint Louis, an A-10 member.

The Spiders have three victories (Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, BC) over Power Six opponents for the first time since the 2010-11 season. That year, UR met seven Power Six teams and beat five of them: Purdue, Arizona State, Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt.

Richmond plays at Alabama on Dec. 29, and that is UR’s final regular-season meeting with a Power Six opponent.

Richmond plays at Hampton (3-4) on Tuesday, and Golden will be a game-day decision, said Mooney. UR lost last season’s meeting 86-66 at the Robins Center. The Pirates lost 70-57 Friday night at Cal State Bakersfield, where UR transfer De’Monte Buckingham (Henrico High) plays. He had 12 points, five rebounds and two steals in 23 off-the-bench minutes against HU.

FG FT Reb

BC M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Jai.Hamilton 23 3-9 0-0 0-3 0 0 8

Mitchell 26 2-3 1-5 6-9 1 0 5

Popovic 31 1-7 0-0 2-6 3 2 2

Heath 35 5-11 1-2 0-4 0 0 14

Thornton 29 3-12 0-0 1-6 3 1 7

Rishwain 26 1-5 1-2 1-3 1 1 4

Felder 21 1-4 2-2 0-7 1 2 4

Herren 4 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Williams 4 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Kraljevic 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 16-55 5-11 10-39 11 6 44

Percentages: FG .291, FT .455. 3-Point Goals: 7-28, .250 (Heath 3-7, Jai.Hamilton 2-5, Rishwain 1-5, Thornton 1-7, Felder 0-2, Popovic 0-2). Team Rebounds: 0. Team Turnovers: 16 (9 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Felder, Mitchell, Rishwain). Turnovers: 16 (Heath 3, Jai.Hamilton 3, Thornton 3, Felder 2, Mitchell 2, Rishwain 2, Popovic). Steals: 2 (Jai.Hamilton 2).

FG FT Reb

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

Cayo 26 4-6 1-1 0-4 1 2 9

Koureissi 13 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 3 2

Francis 32 6-12 2-2 0-4 2 2 18

Gilyard 37 9-16 0-0 0-8 6 1 22

Sherod 29 1-9 0-0 1-3 5 1 2

Burton 22 1-5 2-2 1-5 1 1 4

Gustavson 21 3-5 0-0 1-5 1 2 7

Wojcik 8 0-1 0-0 0-2 1 1 0

Grace 8 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 0 0

Verbinskis 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Arizin 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Gaitley 1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Kulju 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 25-58 5-5 3-35 18 13 64

Percentages: FG .431, FT 1.000. 3-Point Goals: 9-24, .375 (Francis 4-7, Gilyard 4-8, Gustavson 1-2, Burton 0-1, Grace 0-1, Sherod 0-5). Team Rebounds: 1. Team Turnovers: 13 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Koureissi 2). Turnovers: 13 (Koureissi 4, Sherod 3, Francis 2, Gilyard 2, Burton, Cayo). Steals: 11 (Gilyard 5, Burton 4, Francis, Sherod).

Boston College 26 18 — 44

Richmond 25 39 — 64

A—5,531 (7,201).

joconnor@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6233

@RTDjohnoconnor

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