Richmond upsets #10 Kentucky at Rupp, 76-64

Blake Francis and Nathan Cayo powered Richmond to the program's first road victory over an Associated Press top-10 team, rallying in the second half to beat No. 10 Kentucky 76-64 Sunday.

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Courtesy: UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Blake Francis and Nathan Cayo powered Richmond to the program’s first road victory over an Associated Press top-10 team, rallying in the second half to beat No. 10 Kentucky 76-64 Sunday.

The Spiders (2-0) had been 0-25 against top 10 teams and trailed 36-30 just after halftime. Francis and Cayo each finished with 18 points, many coming during a series of small scoring runs that pushed Richmond ahead.

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A 9-0 burst gave the Spiders the lead, and a 7-0 stretch made it 58-46 with 7:43 remaining. In between, Francis and Tyler Burton hit 3-pointers and Cayo converted a three-point play.

Kentucky (1-1) got within eight before Richmond answered with Jacob Gilyard’s fast-break layup and Matt Grace’s 3-pointer for a 13-point edge with 4:40 left. Francis added a 3-pointer that made it 72-56 and sparked a celebration on the Spiders’ bench.

Grant Golden made two free throws for Richmond with 10 seconds left before Burton grabbed Kentucky’s final miss to seal it.

Richmond shot 59% from the field after halftime and held the Wildcats to just 31%. It was the Spiders’ first victory over a ranked team on the road since topping No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth 64-55 on Jan. 31, 2015. The Spiders improved to 14-22 against top-25 opponents.

B.J. Boston Jr. had 20 points and Olivier Sarr 17 for Kentucky, which outrebounded Richmond 54-31 but shot 36% and all missed all 10 tries from behind the arc.

Of the six Wildcats that played at least 10 minutes, five were freshman, including four in the starting lineup.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky will likely fall out of the top 10 with the loss. Richmond might gain a few toward getting in the rankings with a huge win.

THE TAKEAWAY

Richmond’s biggest deficit was just six points, close enough to claw back in what was a back-and-forth contest for 26 minutes.

Kentucky shot well in the first half but cooled considerably after that and looked out of sync for much of the second half.

UP NEXT

Richmond visits Charleston on Wednesday.

Kentucky faces No. 6 Kansas on Tuesday night at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. The Wildcats are 2-3 recently against the Jayhawks, including a 71-63 home victory in January 2019.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.