SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomore Robert Smith/Hampton scored a team-high 21 points, but No. 17 Richard Bland College dropped a 76-73 Region 10 men's basketball decision to Wake Technical (N.C.) Community College on Saturday afternoon in Statesman Hall. Classmate Stanley Taylor/Petersburg added 19 points for the host and nationally-ranked Statesmen (11-5, 5-3) against the visiting Eagles (8-10, 6-4), who received a game-high 27 points from Eddie Volkerts and 19 points from Koraan Clemonts.
Richard Bland took an early 8-2 advantage with baskets from sophomores Tim Bing Jr./Suitland, Maryland and Deon Joyner/North Charleston, South Carolina, freshman Ryan Jones/Smithfield and a slam dunk by Smith … the first of six first-half dunks by the Statesmen. The lead was 16-7 at 14:30 after a three-point field goal by Smith, before Wake Tech scored seven quick points to get within 16-14 at 12:19. Richard Bland responded with 10-straight points to lead 26-14 at 10:09, getting five quick points from Taylor, including another slam dunk. The Statesmen took their largest lead of the contest at 36-20 with 3:21 left until halftime, and it was still 40-25 at 1:24 after a layup from Smith, as the hosts led 43-31 at the intermission.
Richard Bland maintained its comfortable margin to begin the second half, leading 58-46 at 13:52 following a pair of free throws by Smith. Wake Tech, however, scored 11 unanswered points to close within 58-57 at 10:11, and the Eagles finally caught the Statesmen and tied the contest at 59-59 with 8:25 left to play. Wake added back-to-back three-pointers by Volkerts to take its largest lead at 65-59 with 7:22 on the clock, ending a 19-1 game-changing run. Richard Bland got within 65-64 at 4:49 after a jumper by Taylor and a three-pointer from freshman Marvin Trotman/Virginia Beach, and was within 69-68 at 3:18 after two baskets by Taylor. Unfortunately, the Eagles outscored the Statesmen 7-5 over the final 2:39 for the upset road victory.
Smith led Richard Bland with his team-high 21 points, adding a team-high eight rebounds, as well. Taylor finished with his 19 points, adding five rebounds, while Jones contributed nine points. Sophomore Ricky Hicks/Bronx, New York had a game-high 10 assists along with two points, and Bing added six assists along with four points. Richard Bland shot 39% (30-77) from the field, including 29% (6-21) on three-pointers, and 64% (7-11) at the free throw line.
Volkerts led Wake Tech with his game-high 27 points, including five three-pointers, adding nine rebounds. Clemonts finished with his 19 points, while Nick Johnson had 11 points and eight rebounds. Christian Anumihe contributed a double-double for the Eagles with 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Wake shot 38% (24-63) from the field, including 40% (8-20) on three-pointers, and 63% (20-32) at the line. The Eagles' 20-7 advantage in made free throws was the difference in the contest.
Richard Bland and Wake Tech were playing for the 10th time in the sport of men's basketball, and the Statesmen still lead the series at 6-4.
Richard Bland inducted one new member into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a special pregame ceremony. The school's fifth class inductee is Brian Poarch '92, a member of the men's basketball team from 1990-92. Poarch led Richard Bland in both scoring and rebounding during 1990-91, averaging 17.6 points and 8.3 rebounds, while named the Team Most Valuable Player. He led the Statesmen to a record of 14-14, shooting 49% from the field, including 59% on three-point field goals, and 82% at the free throw line. Poarch led the team in scoring during 1991-92, as well, averaging 17.7 points, while second with his 6.8 rebounds. He led the Statesmen to a record of 13-15, shooting 43% from the field, including 49% on three-point field goals, and 77% at the free throw line. Poarch completed his two years with the Statesmen totaling 971 points and 415 rebounds. Poarch is shown above right along side of Director of Athletics Chuck Moore on the left.