Spiders bite Badgers in Legends Classic

NEW YORK (AP) — Blake Francis scored a game-high 19 points to lead Richmond to a 62-52 win over Wisconsin in the first game of the Roman Legends Classic Monday night at the Barclays Center.

Grant Golden added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Richmond (5-0), and Nathan Cayo had 10.

The loss snapped Wisconsin’s (4-2) four-game winning streak. Nate Reuvers led the Badgers with 17 points, and Kobe King finished with 10.

The second all-time meeting between the Big 10 and A-10 programs would not have been out of place at any of New York City’s playgrounds, as both teams played unyielding defense. Wisconsin held Richmond to 35.3% shooting from 3 (6 for 17), while the Spiders limited the Badgers to 34% shooting from the field (17 for 50).

After Brad Davidson drilled a 3 to tie the game 50-all with 4:44 left, Richmond scored 10 of the next 12 points points to open a 60-52 advantage. Souleymane Koureissi’s tip-in of a Gilyard missed layup capped the run.

Gilyard knocked down two free throws with a minute left to end the scoring.

Despite Tyler Wahl drilling a running one-hander before the halftime buzzer sounded, the Badgers went into the break trailing the Spiders 31-29.

BIG PICTURE: Distilled to its base, this was a matchup of strength versus strength. Wisconsin entered the game ranked 34th in defensive efficiency according to analytics site KenPom.com, while Richmond had averaged 92.5 points per game in its first four games, and had three players—Jacob Gilyard (20.8), Nick Sherod (20.8) and Blake Francis (18.5) — average at least 18. 5 points per game.

The game was possession-by-possession matchup, which could benefit both teams as the season progresses. Tight defense should allow Wisconsin to stay in games, while the Spiders were forced to play a style they had not prior to Monday night.


The first game of the doubleheader marked Wisconsin’s inaugural visit to Barclays Center, which opened in September 2012. However, it was not the Badgers’ first trip to the big city. Wisconsin has now played seven games in New York dating back to 2015 and is 3-4 in those contests with the previous six games were held at Madison Square Garden.


WISCONSIN: Will meet the loser of the Auburn-New Mexico game Tuesday.

RICHMOND: Will meet the winner of the the Auburn-New Mexico game Tuesday.

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