SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Sophomores Robert Smith/Hampton and Stanley Taylor/Petersburg each scored 21 points, but Richard Bland College dropped an 80-72 Region 10 men's basketball decision to Bryant & Stratton College on Wednesday night in Statesman Hall. Gerrard Simpkins scored a game-high 32 points for the visiting Bobcats (18-9, 14-5), while Jordan Forbes added 19 points against the host Statesmen (18-8, 12-6).
Richard Bland fell behind early at 6-2 just 1:36 into the contest as Simpkins scored six quick points for Bryant & Stratton. The Statesmen used a 6-2 run to tie it at 8-8 with 16:19 on the clock as sophomore Tim Bing Jr./Suitland, Maryland answered with six points of his own. A free throw by sophomore Tre' Patterson/Richmond at 14:10 gave the hosts an 11-10 advantage, but the Bobcats responded with a 14-7 run to lead 24-18 at 6:58, and the visitors extended the run to 28-12 to lead 38-23 at 1:38. Richard Bland closed the half with a 7-2 run to get within 40-30 at the intermission.
Richard Bland extended its half-spanning run to 18-10 to trail 48-41 at 16:56, getting five points from Smith and four points from Taylor. A three-point field goal from sophomore Ricky Hicks/Bronx, New York at 14:30 had the Statesmen within 52-47, and the hosts kept battling back and were within 61-59 at 10:12 after a three-pointer by Smith. A jumper by Taylor at 8:09 tied the contest at 63-63, and a three-pointer from Patterson gave Richard Bland a 66-65 lead with 7:05 remaining. An old-fashioned three-point play inside by freshman Kenny Southerland/Richmond made it 69-68 at 5:44, but it would prove the last lead for the Statesmen. Simpkins made two free throws at 5:28 to push Bryant & Stratton back ahead at 70-69, and the Bobcats led 74-69 at 4:23 after a Simpkins layup. A layup from Taylor at 2:54 made it a three-point game at 74-71, but the visitors closed with 6-8 free throws to secure their road win.
Smith and Taylor led Richard Bland with their respective 21 points. Taylor added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season, while Smith added six rebounds. Bing finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists, while Hicks contributed six points, five assists and three steals. Richard Bland shot 36% (27-76) from the field, including 26% (6-23) on three-pointers, and 55% (12-22) at the free throw line.
Simpkins led Bryant & Stratton with his game-high 32 points, adding eight rebounds and six assists. Forbes finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Matthias Caver had 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Bobcats shot 48% (26-54) from the field, including 18% (2-11) on three-pointers, and 74% (26-35) at the line … the 26-12 advantage at the charity stripe being the difference in the game.
Richard Bland and Bryant & Stratton were playing for the ninth time, and the Statesmen continue to lead the closely-played series at 5-4.
Richard Bland remains at home for its final two regular season games in Statesman Hall this weekend, hosting Fayetteville Tech (N.C.) on Friday, February 23, at 7 p.m. and Vance-Granville (N.C.) on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. Friday night is Wounded Warrior Project Appreciation, while Sunday afternoon is Sophomore Day.