Richard, Samuel lead way for UF men’s basketball in victory over Richmond

SUNRISE — Will Richard scored 19 of his 21 points after halftime, Tyrese Samuel added a double-double, and Florida defeated Richmond 87-76 at the Orange Bowl Classic doubleheader on Saturday.

Samuel scored 18 points and gathered 14 rebounds for Florida (6-3). Zyon Pullin scored 14 points off the bench and Riley Kugel added 11. Micah Handlogten grabbed 10 rebounds.

“Just a huge win for us, one that I’m really, really happy about,” Gators coach Todd Golden said, “and am really proud of our group for the way we came out. I thought we did a great job of competing for 40 minutes.”

Back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Richard helped give Florida a 62-46 lead at the under-12 timeout in the second half, but Richmond bounced right back. The Spiders got a jumper and a 3-pointer from Neal Quinn and Dji Bailey’s layup got Richmond within 62-53.

Richard delivered a three-point play to help the Gators go back ahead by double digits and the Spiders got within single digits just twice more in the final eight minutes, the second coming on a 3-pointer from Mikkel Tyne that made it 74-66 with 5:51 to go. But Pullin hit a 3 for Florida and the Gators held Richmond to one field goal until Tyne hit another 3-pointer with eight seconds left.

The starters dominated the stat sheet for Richmond (5-5). Quinn had 17 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds; Isaiah Bigelow had 17 points and 7 rebounds; Tyne hit five 3s and scored 16 points; Jordan King had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists; and Bailey had 6 steals.

In the first half, consecutive 3s by Jason Roche had Richmond within a point at 18-17 just inside the 10-minute mark. Three-pointers by Handlogten and Pullin a few minutes later helped Florida go up by eight, then a five-point stretch by Kugel gave the Gators a 36-25 advantage. The Gators went on to lead 40-30 at the half.

Florida plays East Carolina in the Florida Tip-Off on Thursday in Lakeland. Richmond has a home game against Charlotte on Saturday.