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Richmond overcomes 12-point 2nd-half deficit to beat VCU, sweep season series

Richmond head coach Chris Mooney reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against VCU in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament at the Barclays Center in New York, Friday, March 14, 2014. VCU defeated Richmond, 71-53. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Khwan Fore's free throw with 3.8 seconds left capped Richmond's comeback from a 12-point second-half deficit and the Spiders beat VCU 77-76 on Wednesday night.

Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod each scored 18 points for the Spiders (9-14, 7-4 Atlantic 10), who won their sixth in seven games. Grant Golden added 16 points and nine rebounds and Fore scored 15. He also knocked away a length of the court pass on the Rams' attempt for a miracle finish.

Justin Tillman scored 21 points and Issac Vann and De'Riante Jenkins had 14 each for VCU (14-10, 6-5). The Rams, who were swept in the season series by Richmond, also fell out of the three-way tied for fourth place in the league they shared with Richmond and Saint Bonaventure to start the night.

The Rams trailed 51-50 with 14 minutes to play before Vann scored, followed that basket with a steal and a dunk and then, after another turnover by the Spiders, followed a teammate's miss with a tip-in. By the time the run was finished, VCU held a 65-53 lead with 8½ minutes remaining.

Fore scored on a drive to stop the Rams run and Sherod scored 10 points and Gilyard had nine in the closing minutes to rally the Spiders.

BIG PICTURE

VCU: The Rams, without senior point guard Johnny Williams, don't really have an ideal replacement and went first with sophomore Malik Crowfield and then freshman Tyler Maye, but both picked up two personal fouls in the first half and accounted for three assists in 15 combined minutes.

Richmond: In Fore, Richmond already had one of the quickest guards in the country, and he's been surpassed as their fastest player by Gilyard, a 5-foot-9 whirling dervish who also had six assists and five steals. Gilyard showed off his speed with a dazzling play late in the first half when he made a steal, chased the ball down just before it went out of bounds and fed Joe Kirby all alone under the basket for an easy lay-in.

UP NEXT

VCU is at home against Dayton, coached by former Rams coach Anthony Grant. The Flyers beat the Rams 106-79 in Ohio on Jan. 12.

Richmond is at Saint Bonaventure, the other winner among the teams tied for fourth coming into the night.

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