The Spiders wasted no time getting out in front VCU, jumping out to an 18-9 lead early in the first half, but have seen that lead evaporate, now trailing by two points at haltime.

Richmond’s offense slowed down significantly as the first half wore on and saw that advantage begin to slip away as VCU found its rhythm and narrowed the deficit. The Rams’ JeQuan Lewis picked up steam at the end of the half, finishing with 13 points including a pull-up 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded that gave VCU a 39-37 lead.

For the Spiders, the offensive focus has been on the their stars thus far as Shawndre’ Jones, T.J. Cline and Terry Allen combined to score all of Richmond’s first 24 points with Marshall Wood’s two free throws as the only other points for the team in the first half. Richmond has been careful to hold onto the ball in the face of VCU’s swarming press, turning it over only six times thus far compared to seven for VCU. 

Jones leads all Richmond scorers with 13 points with Terry Allen and T.J. Cline chipping in 12 and 10 points respectively. Richmond has converted on a higher percentage of its opportunities shooting 4  percent from the field compared to VCU’s 43 percent, but the Rams have easily outrebounded the Spiders 24-14 to this point.

If the Spiders can get more players involved, shoot better on 3-pointers (2-9 so far from deep) and do a better job on the glass, they’ll be primed to take back the lead and pull away in the second half.