Free throws and defense lift U of R late over UMBC, 78-75

Khwan Fore lays it home in the Spiders 78-75 victory over the UMBC Retrievers (Photo Courtesy: Richmond Athletics)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond came from behind Saturday night at home, led by stellar performances from TJ Cline and ShawDre’ Jones who were both perfect from the charity stripe.

Cline and Jones were not alone in their stellar free throw shooting performances, as the team shot a season-high 92 percent from the line (24 for 26).

The Spiders overcame a 14-point second half deficit the hard way, by digging in for rebounds, playing hard-nosed defense, and shooting well when it mattered most.

Richmond outrebounded UMBC 38-30 and crushed the Retrievers on the offensive glass which ultimately led to 12 second-chance points. The Spiders needed every bit of it as they struggled shooting from the field for much of the game.

“I’m proud of our team for coming back and kind of changing the direction of the game in the second half,” head coach Chris Mooney said. “I feel like we made it harder for them there in the second half and we really played the aggressor which was good to see.”

Jones led the team with 19 points, six assists and just one turnover. Jones carried his team late, hitting 8 out of 8 free throws in the final 36 seconds of the game.

Cline and Khwan Fore both scored 15 points on the night, while Fore hauled in nine rebounds and four steals. Cline also had six rebounds and four assists.

Jairus Lyles carried the Retrievers with 29 points and six rebounds, while turning the ball over five times and shooting just 48 percent from the floor.

While the Spiders started hot, UMBC took over late in the first half, scoring from the outside with ease to take a 41-33 lead at the midpoint.

The second half started off with more of the same as UMBC increased their lead to 47-33 before Richmond began chipping away.

UMBC went back up late in the game before consecutive shots – a deuce and two threes – from Cline, Fore and Jones, respectively, put the Spiders ahead for good in the game.

Jones then proceeded to hit his 8 consecutive free throws as Retrievers players kept fouling him to ice the game.

Richmond doesn’t hit the floor again for another week when they host Texas Tech at the Robins Center on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The game will be televised live on ESPNU.

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