RICHMOND, Va. (AP)—David Gonzalvez took an all-or-nothing approach into Richmond’s game against No. 16 Dayton, and it paid off big.
Gonzalvez and Dan Geriot combined for 25 points in Richmond’s sizzling first half and the Spiders handed the Flyers their third straight loss, 80-63 on Saturday night.
“I told Dan a few nights ago, ‘We’ve got to be the most aggressive we’ve been all season to beat Dayton,”’ Gonzalvez said. “‘We’ve got to attack the ball all the time, every possession.’ I said, ‘I’m either going to play horrible or have a great game.”’
Lucky for Richmond, the latter was the case as he scored 20 points and Geriot had 19, and Richmond (10-8, 3-2 Atlantic 10) won for the sixth time in eight games.
The Spiders shot 61.5 percent in the first half, when a 13-0 run was part of a 25-5 burst that led to 46-27 halftime lead before a raucous crowd at Robins Center.
“We don’t have many opportunities to take on a nationally ranked opponent in your own building,” Spiders coach Chris Mooney said. “I thought that we played very well. I thought we had control of the game in the first half and played very well.”
Dayton (14-4, 2-3), playing without injured interior players Chris Wright and Charles Little, never got closer than 13 points after Richmond’s big early burst.
“Those young guys are getting better,” Dayton coach Brian Gregory said. “They’ve added some athletic ability and quickness, which obviously changes that offense quite a bit. Plus they play defense well.”
Richmond defeated a ranked team at home for the first time since Dec. 1, 1990, when it beat Georgia Tech, and got its first victory against a ranked team anywhere since Jan. 24, 2004, when Tony Dobbins’ jumper gave it a 69-68 win at No. 12 Kansas.
Richmond trailed 8-3 before scoring the next 13 points. The run extended to 25-5, giving the Spiders a 28-13 lead with 9:16 left in the first half and they never let up.
Leading by 19 at halftime, they scored seven of the first eight points in the second half to extend the lead to 53-28 with 17:15 to play and cruised to the win.
Brian Roberts scored 20 for the Flyers, with 17 coming after halftime. Andres Sandoval added 17 and London Warren had a career-best 13.
The Spiders clinched it by hitting 10 of 11 free throws over the final 5:25.