FAYETTEVILLE — The Richmond boys basketball team struggled to score Tuesday evening.
Xavier Pettigrew’s nine points, which was a season low for the junior foward, was the most any Raider scored in the team’s 49-37 loss at Jack Britt. Senior guard Da’Shaun Wallace was next in line with eight points.
“I don’t know what’s going on. We just can’t score right now for some reason,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said. “We do shooting drills and give them confidence to score in practice, but it’s not falling in during the game.”
Both teams had trouble putting the ball in the basket early, as the game was tied 5-5 heading into the second quarter.
Jack Britt (5-2, 1-2 SAC) scored the game’s first five points courtesy of an Eli O’Neal three-pointer and a layup from Calvin Washington. Richmond (1-4, 1-2 SAC) took a while but eventually answered with a three of its own — from senior guard Rod Newton — and a Jarvis Tillman score.
“Our first six possessions we went inside but Zay and Malik (Flowers) couldn’t score,” Pettigrew said. “They were good looks but we’ve just got to put it in the hole.”
But things turned around for the Raiders in the second quarter after Wallace started the second period off with a fastbreak layup. Moments later, another one of Wallace’s buckets sparked a 10-0 run — capped by back-to-back threes from junior guard Malik Stanback — that helped Richmond take a 23-13 lead at hafltime.
The late first-half run didn’t carry over to the second half, though, and that’s when the Buccaneers took control. After scoring the first seven points in the third quarter, the home team went on to outscore Richmond 21-3 and hold an eight-point lead heading into the final stanza.
“I told the guys at halftime that we’re going to come out strong. Ike (Walker) had his guys ready to go in the second half and we didn’t respond well at all,” Pettigrew added.
Richmond added 11 points to its total in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t keep Jack Britt off the scoreboard. The Bucs had three players finish with double figures: Zac Hill (14), Washington (11), O’Neal (10).
LADY RAIDERS LOSE LEAD LATE
FAYETTEVILLE — It was a wild finish for the Lady Raiders, who dropped a close 45-42 decision to Jack Britt on Tuesday.
Richmond (1-4, 1-2 SAC) led by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter, but found itself trailing 44-39 after Jack Britt’s Brianna Lord hit a pull-up jumper with less than two minutes left in the game. Sophomore guard Allexis Swiney would answer with a three-pointer to bring the Lady Raiders within two — and then came the wild finish.
A turnover by Jack Britt’s NyQuela Bailey gave Richmond a chance to tie or take the lead, but couple of missed shots put the ball back in the hands of the home team. Lord, who had a game-high 15 points, was fouled and made one of her two free-throws attempts — putting the Lady Buccaneers ahead 45-42 with just under 20 seconds to go.
The Lady Raiders tried to make something happen on the ensuing possesion but they couldn’t find anything, and eventually lost the ball out of bounds. They would get another shot on offense, however, after Jack Britt’s Lauren Moore turned the ball over with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Senior forward Lexyonna Ingram received the inbounds pass on the right side of the court and it seemed as if she was fouled while going up for the game-tying three. No foul was called, though, and Jack Britt (3-4, 2-0 SAC) escaped with the victory.
Swiney was Richmond’s top scorer with 14 points and Ingram was right behind her with 12. Sophomore guard Keionna Love scored five of her eight points in the second quarter.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.