3-4 - Virginia Commonwealth University is 3-4 on the road in conference play, and has lost three of its last four road games. Additionally, Richmond has beaten VCU in the last two games played at the Robins Center. Tonight's game is not surprisingly sold out, but VCU will have their fair share of fans. The new Robins Center has been notoriously loud all season - St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli even questioned whether Richmond had amplified the crowd noise. It will be interesting to see how many VCU fans get into the Robins Center, and if they can nullify Richmond's home-court advantage.
14.5 - One of VCU's biggest advantages coming into tonight is its superior rebounding, particularly offensive rebounding. The Rams lead the A-10 in offensive rebounding with 14.5 per game. Richmond, which ranks last in the A-10 in rebounding, has struggled to keep opponents off the offensive glass this season. The Spiders will need big games from their four sophomore forwards to keep the likes of Treveon Graham and Juvonte Reddic off the offensive glass.
18.7 -- Kendall Anthony is leading the Spiders with 18.7 points per game since losing seniors Derrick Williams and Cedrick Lindsay. Anthony, however, is averaging just 15 points in losses and 21.5 points in wins since losing the seniors. He is coming off a 2-20 performance at Rhode Island, but scored a season-high 31 points in Richmond's 81-70 loss at VCU in February. The Spiders need a big night from their big-time scorer to have a shot at pulling off the upset.
19 - VCU's Havoc defense relies on pressuring the ball and forcing turnovers, and the Rams force 19 turnovers per game. The Spiders have protected the ball this season, averaging 10 turnovers per game. VCU managed to force only nine turnovers in the game in February. Richmond, however, will be without Lindsay this time around. ShawnDre' Jones, a freshman guard who played only eight minutes at VCU, has been Lindsay's apparent replacement. Look for Graham and Briante Weber to highly pressure Richmond's undersized and partially inexperienced backcourt for the majority of tonight. If Richmond's guards cannot handle VCU's pressure, tonight could get ugly.
29.4 - In Richmond's consecutive blowout losses at George Mason University and University of Rhode Island, both of which are in the bottom four of the conference, the Spiders shot a combined 29.4 percent from the field. These were the first two games Richmond seemed to desperately miss its two seniors, especially Lindsay. Head coach Chris Mooney said the Spiders would need to be more aggressive getting the ball in deep to fix their offensive woes. Anthony and Jones need to shoot better than they have recently, but the frontline will be most important in fixing Richmond's offense. Richmond needs its forwards, such as Terry Allen and Trey Davis to be offense threats tonight. If Allen and Davis can attract attention, Anthony and Jones should have more room to create offense.
Contact staff writer Jack Nicholson at email@example.com
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