FORT WORTH, Texas - 78 wins. Nearly 4,000 points, over 750 assists and over 600 rebounds. Two top-10 all-time scorers in program history.
That’s exactly what the senior class of the 2016-17 University of Richmond men’s basketball is leaving behind.
That senior class stepped on the floor for the final time as Spiders on Tuesday, battling their way to the NIT Quarterfinals, but falling to red-hot TCU squad, 86-68.
Senior and Texas native T.J. Cline went out with a bang, finishing with 33 points on 15-of-24 shooting, while also grabbing seven rebounds and six assists. Classmate ShawnDre' Jones finished with nine points and five assists. Both conclude their careers ranked in the top-10 in program history in scoring.
“We love each other. This team was so close together. We truly have a love for each member of that locker room and want everyone to succeed in life, not just basketball,” Cline said.
Buckets by Buckingham and Cline gave the Spiders an early 5-4 lead three minutes into the contest.
TCU would respond with six straight points, but layups from Jones and Cline cut the Horned Frogs lead to just 10-9.
The Horned Frogs would use the energy from the sold out crowd to put together a 16-2 run to grab a commanding 25-11 advantage with eight minutes to play in the first half.
Cline and Fore combined for 17 first-half points, but TCU got a big first half from their two big men to take a 41-26 lead into halftime.
The Spiders came out of the locker room on fire, scoring the half’s first six points to cut the Horned Frogs’ lead to 41-32 with 18:17 remaining.
Once again, TCU’s hot shooting would continue and push the lead back into double-digits, where it would remain for the rest of the night.
Richmond finished the season with 22 wins, the most since 2010-11 when the Spiders won 29 games.