ROCKINGHAM — All the rust which appeared to bother Richmond the night before, vanished into thin air in the span of 24 hours.
The Raiders had all 11 players crack the scoring column and limited their opponents to single digits in the first three quarters to cruise to a 79-32 victory over Southeastern Conference rival Scotland Tuesday night.
Shydamion Ellerbe recorded a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, despite sitting out the fourth quarter. Kendo Wallace and Greg Patterson each matched Ellerbe’s point total off the bench, while Jordan Richardson knocked in 10.
“So much for all that rust,” Richmond coach David Laton said. “I thought we had some guys come off the bench and play really well for us.”
Laton praised his team’s defensive effort, holding the Fighting Scots to 21 points through three quarters.
“Nobody for them got into double-figures,” Laton said. “And we were able to hold them to single digits in three quarters. That’s not bad.”
The Raiders improve to 14-4 on the season and 4-1 in conference action with their third consecutive victory and fifth in a row in the series against their rivals. The Fighting Scots drop to 1-12 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.
After defeating Pinecrest on Monday and Scotland this week, Richmond can now turn its focus to the league leaders — Hoke County. Earlier this month, Hoke handed Richmond its lone conference loss, 80-72. The Bucks are 4-0 in SEC play following their 67-52 win over the Patriots Tuesday against the Patriots.
“Lefty Driesell used to say, ‘the next game is the biggest game, until the next game, then that becomes the biggest,’” Laton said. “But it really is going to be the biggest game of the season for us.
“I always expect to win every game and I expect to win Friday night and be tied with them in the conference. If you are a coach or a player and don’t expect to win, then why are you out here. We have that old ‘mo’ (momentum) right now and that’s a good thing.”
Richmond will face Hoke 7:30 p.m. Friday at Raeford.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.