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Spiders bite Badgers

AP Photo Wisconsin’S Brad Davison tries to pass to a teammate as he falls to the floor during the second half against Richmond in the Legends Classic on Monday.

NEW YORK (AP) — To hear Chris Mooney, his Richmond Spiders spent the days and weeks and months after their 2018-19 season came to an end working on defense and toughness.

And in a gym on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn, New York, the results of that work borne out.

“(We) just had a strong will and toughness about us,” Mooney said after Richmond topped Wisconsin 62-52 in the first game of the Roman Legends Classic Monday night at the Barclays Center. The Spiders will meet Auburn in the championship Tuesday.

Blake Francis scored a game-high 19 points to lead Richmond (5-0).

The loss snapped Wisconsin’s (4-2) four-game winning streak. Nate Reuvers led the Badgers with 17 points, and Kobe King finished with 10.

The second all-time meeting between the Big 10 and A-10 programs would not have been out of place at any of New York City’s playgrounds, as both teams played unyielding defense. Wisconsin held Richmond to 35.3% shooting from 3 (6 for 17), while the Spiders limited the Badgers to 34% from the field (17 for 50).

“I’m not surprised that maybe we didn’t shoot it as well,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “I was more disappointed (in) how we took care of the ball — or didn’t take care of the ball — and how we settled for quick threes.”

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