A10 Sunday Preview: A Showdown in Philly

Game of the Night

Rhode Island Rams at St. Joseph’s Hawks- 12:00 PM ET  (NBCSN)

The Rhode Island Rams look to remain undefeated in conference play as they travel to Philadelphia to battle it out against the St. Joe’s Hawks.

After an uneven non-conference showing, the Rams seem to be back on track with two straight wins against Saint Louis and Richmond. The Rams are coming off of a fiery shooting night against Richmond, where they shot 70% from three. The Rams had four different players score in double figures. Injuries have plagued the Rams all season, as EC Matthews went down with a torn ACL and Hassan Martin battling an injured ankle. The Rams are led by senior Four McGlynn who is averaging 12.9 points per game. Guards Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett are coming off hot shooting nights where they both shot 5-7 from three combined. Hassan Martin is back from injury but playing a limited role. In his first game back against Richmond, he dropped 10 points and grabbed 7 boards. If the Rams want to steal from the Hawks, they will have to continue the hot shooting.

The Hawks have turned some heads with their impressive start in A10 play. The Hawks are coming off a heartbreaking 85-82 loss to VCU that snapped their seven game winning streak. With all the focus on DeAndre Bembry, guys like Isaiah Miles and James Demery have emerged. Miles, who is averaging 18.3 points per game, had 31 points in the loss against VCU. Lets not forget about Bembry, who has been stellar all season long. The junior is averaging 16.4 points per game along with 7 boards. The Hawks didn’t shoot too well from three against VCU, look for that to change on Sunday.

Rhode Island needs this win desperately to boost their chances at making the NCAA Tournament. While the Rams have held their own without EC Matthews, they will have to heavily rely on their defense, which ranks 32nd in the country is points allowed. If Bembry and Miles get hot early for the Hawks, it will be a long game for the Rams.

Elsewhere in A10 Action

Richmond Spiders at Fordham Rams- 2:00 PM ET (NBCSN) 

The Spiders will look to get their first conference win at Fordham on Sunday. The Rams enter 1-1 in A10 action, beating La Salle and losing by six to George Washington. This will be judgement day for Fordham as they haven’t played the best competition. They are led by Mandell Thomas who is averaging 15 points per game. Look out for Terry Allen, who is averaging 19 points per game along with 7 rebounds.The Spiders have struggled on defense all season, giving up a lot of open looks from three. Fordham will need to exploit the Spider defense and knockdown open shots to win. The Spiders desperately need a victory on Sunday, contributions from TJ Cline and Terry Allen will get the Spiders their first A10 win.

VCU Rams at Saint Louis- 4:00 PM ET (NBCSN) 

The Rams are off to a hot start in A10 play, beating George Mason and St. Joes. Saint Louis is coming off a surprising upset over George Washington, making them 1-1 in the A10. VCU is a very well rounded team led by senior Melvin Johnson, who is averaging 19 points per contest. Keep your eyes Mo Allie-Cox, who is coming off a game-winner against St. Joes. Cox always finds a way to make the big play for the Rams when they need it. The Billikins are led by their only senior, Ash Yacoubou, who has 11.1 points per game. The young Billikins will have a tough time facing the Havoc of VCU, and look for VCU to handle business in the Gateway City.

I only go to Richmond games for the free fries. Follow me on Twitter @sphamilton34