SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. — Sophomore Gevon Arrington/Petersburg scored a game-high 20 points to lead No. 14 Richard Bland College to a season-opening 87-63 men’s basketball victory past No. 18 Northern Virginia Community College on Tuesday night at Statesman Hall. Freshman Brandon Henry/Chester added 12 points off the bench for the host Statesmen (1-0) against the visiting Nighthawks (0-1). Richard Bland will return to action this weekend, November 4-5, at the Frederick Classic in Frederick, Maryland, beginning with a game against Valley Forge (Pa.) Military College on Friday at 6 p.m.
“It was a great team effort tonight,” said fourth-year head coach Chuck Moore. “We showed the potential that we could have this year … we had some really great moments and some not so great. At the end of the day, we did what we needed to do for the victory. The returning players really stepped up at the crucial moments in the game and that really made the difference in the long run. If our first-year players will play to the level of our returners, we could be a dangerous team.”
“It was a tremendous crowd tonight and we really appreciate all of the support that we receive from our fans!”
Richard Bland, ranked No. 14 in the NJCAA Division II Preseason Poll, scored the first five points of the game and never looked back, getting a basket inside from sophomore Jaquan Wooten/Kinston, North Carolina and a three-point field goal by sophomore Deandre Clark/Orange. The Statesman led 11-3 at 16:26 after Arrington’s first field goal of the contest that followed a layup and two free throws by Wooten, who scored six quick points. Northern Virginia, ranked No. 18 in the Preseason Poll, closed to within 13-9 at 13:40 before Richard Bland put together a 19-7 run to lead 32-16 with 7:31 left in the first half. Eight different players scored during the run, including three-pointers by Clark and freshman Ricky Hicks/Bronx, New York, along with a conventional three-point play by freshman Lumumbah Bataille/Brooklyn, New York. The Statesmen maintained their advantage for the remainder of the half and led 38-25 at the intermission. Arrington had seven points at the break, while Clark, Hicks, and Wooten each had six.
Richard Bland continued to extend the margin in the second half, getting 11 quick points from Arrington to lead 49-29 at 14:17. Henry followed with seven quick points of his own, including back-to-back three-pointers to push the advantage to 56-32 with 12:41 on the clock. The Statesmen took their largest lead the night at 68-39 with7:08 left following a steal and slam dunk by Clark. Another dunk by freshman Deon Joyner/North Charleston, South Carolina at 2:51 made it 78-52, and freshman Robert Smith/Hampton added his own dunk with an assist from Joyner in the final minute, as well, much to the delight of the near-capacity crowd of 789.
Arrington led Richard Bland with his game-high 20 points, adding six rebounds and three steals. Henry added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench. Clark finished with eight points, while Smith had seven points off the bench, as well. Richard Bland shot 49% (29-59) from the field, including 32% (6-19) on three-pointers and 66% (23-35) from the free throw line. The Statesmen had a 40-16 advantage in points in the paint, and a 44-27 advantage in bench points.
Wesley Hardaway led Northern Virginia with 15 points off the bench, while Addison Burgess added 12 points. The Nighthawks shot 25% (16-63) from the field, including 23% (7-31) on three-pointers, and 67% (24-36) at the line.
Richard Bland now leads the all-time series against Northern Virginia, 2-0.
Director of Athletics Communications & Marketing
Richard Bland College