WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Richmond coach Chris Mooney isn’t sure where his team’s sudden offensive surge is coming from, but he’s sure enjoying the results.
The Spiders put together another big scoring game Wednesday, but needed to hold off a second-half rally in beating Wake Forest 91-82.
T.J. Cline scored 19 points and four others finished in double figures for Richmond (2-1), which last scored 90 or more points in back-to-back games during an exhibition tour of Europe before the 2008-2009 season.
As for during the regular season, you have to go back to early in the 1979-1980 season, when Richmond notched wins over Bluefield (132-69) and George Mason (105-70).
”I’m as surprised as anybody,” said Mooney, whose team beat Stetson 105-85 on Nov. 15. ”We feel like we’ve always had good offensive percentages, but we’ve never scored this much. We certainly haven’t given up near this much.”
Trey Davis added 17 points, ShawnDre’ Jones 16, Marshall Wood 15 and Terry Allen 12 for Richmond, which turned a 41-39 halftime lead into a 12-point margin in the second half before the Deacons (2-1) made their comeback.
Down 78-66 with 8:12 remaining, Wake Forest rallied to pull within 84-82 on Bryant Crawford’s 3-pointer with 3:04 left. But Davis responded with a jumper 19 seconds later, and Richmond closed out the game by scoring the final seven points.
”I hope we can keep this up,” Davis said. ”I think we can. We have a lot of great offensive players on this team, and our ball movement has been great. But we really want to focus on the defensive end – we’ve given up a lot of points in these first three games.”
Crawford finished with 21 points for the Deacons. Konstantinos Mitoglu added 14 points and 11 rebounds, John Collins had 13 points, Devin Thomas 12 points with 10 rebounds, and Greg McClinton 12 points for Wake Forest.
”We gave up far too many baskets,” Deacons coach Danny Manning said. ”And then when you turn the ball over as many times as we did, that’s hard to overcome.”
Richmond: The Spiders finished with 20 forced turnovers in Wednesday’s game, leading to 27 points. They also had their third straight game shooting 50 percent or better, hitting 32 of 62 (51.6 percent).
Wake Forest: The Deacons had their best shooting game of the still-young season, hitting 57.1 percent (28 of 49). But they didn’t fare so well at the free throw line – a season-low 57.6 percent (19 of 33). ”We have to do a much better job at making our free throws,” Manning said. ”We have to reward ourselves by cashing those in.”
Wake Forest was trailing 58-56 with 14:05 remaining in the second half when Richmond went on a 20-10 run over the next six minutes. That pushed the Spiders’ lead to 12 points just past the midway point of the half.
Richmond hit 11 of 23 3-pointers, the second straight game the Spiders have made 10 or more. Cline and Wood made four each. . Wake Forest finished with a 39-23 rebounding advantage, but that didn’t lead to a significant edge in second-chance points – just 14 for the Deacons, to eight for Richmond.
Richmond hosts Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.
Wake Forest faces Indiana in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Monday.