The Raiders rebounded from their 48-45 conference opening loss to Hoke by using a balanced scoring attack to pound Purnell Swett, 69-32 Tuesday night at Raider Gymnasium.
The victory improved Richmond’s record to 10-3 overall, 1-1 in the SEC. The 69 points were a season-high for Richmond and the Raiders also posted their largest margin of victory this season.
All nine Raiders scored in the contest as Richmond was led by leading scorer Brian Love’s 17 points, who also nailed three 3-pointers. Will Freeman added 11 points along with three block shots and Tedarrius Wiley scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“I liked the way everyone contributed on the offensive end,” Raiders coach David Laton said. “We did a good job of running our fast break and getting the ball inside. If we can get that type of balanced scoring, we should be tough to beat.”
But Laton also praised the Raiders’ stifling defensive effort as the 32 points given up was a season-low in points allowed. The Rams failed to reach double digits in any quarter until they scored 11 in the fourth. Richmond also controlled the glass, outrebounding Swett 34-20. The Raiders also forced the Rams into committing 26 turnovers.
“I was really pleased with the way we got after it defensively,” Laton said. “I thought our man-to-man and zone defenses were really good.
We protected areas and spots on the floor. We limited them to one shot a lot of the times and we did a good job of defensive rebounding. We caused a lot of turnovers and did a nice job of stealing the ball inside when they tried to pass into the interior.”
The loss dropped the Rams’ mark to 2-8, 0-2 in the SEC. Jarquez Jones came off the bench to pace the Rams with nine points. Swett only led once after taking a 2-0 lead, but went into a scoring slump as Richmond went on a 14-0 run to take a 12 point advantage. The Raiders led 17-6 after the first quarter and extended their lead to 30-14 at halftime.
Rams coach James Williams admitted his team has a ways to go.
“We played against a well-coached, disciplined and playoff-caliber team in Richmond,” Williams said. “We aren’t in the same class as them.”
Williams added that the Rams aren’t going out and following through on the game plan.
“I try to coach them up, but they like to go out there and do their own thing,” he said. “We got to have basketball players that are going to do what we asked them to do or we’re going to continue to struggle.”
In the third, Richmond used a 17-0 run capped by Freeman’s free-throw with 1:47 remaining to increase the lead to 49-18. The Raiders outscored Swett 22-7 in the quarter to take a 52-21 cushion into the fourth.
Richmond will attempt to make it two in a row in league play when it host Lumberton Friday at Raider Gym with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Rams return to action today at Dillon (S.C.) with tipoff slated for 7 p.m. Swett’s next conference game is at Pinecrest Friday.
Contact sports reporter Corey Davis at 997-3111, ext. 44; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org