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Richmond vs Rhode Island – Preview

Tonight’s game between Richmond (7-3, 1-1) and Rhode Island (5-5, 2-1) is one that feels like a must win for both teams.  The Spiders are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Bonnies and Rhode Island is looking to build on their 2 game A10 winning streak.  With the recent NET rankings leaving the Spiders within striking distance, another loss at home is something that needs to be avoided at all costs.  The Spiders defeated the Rams last season at the Ryan Center 69-61 behind Nathan Cayo’s 19 points and 11 rebounds.

All eyes will be on the matchup between 2 of the best guards in the conference in Jacob Gilyard and Fatts Russell.  For the Rams, Fatts has led the team in scoring in 5 of their 10 games this season, winning 4 of them.  What does that tell us?  Limit his scoring.  When looking at Jacob Gilyard, we know that he can do whatever is needed on any given night.  If he needs to score, he will drop 15 on you.  If he needs to focus on defense in a high scoring game?  He gets you 5 steals.  Whatever the Spiders need, this guy will give it to you, so he will be key in tonight’s game.  Grant Golden will also play a major role in this one.  This Richmond offense flows much better when he gets touches.  The offense needs to be facilitated through him tonight, where I believe he can have a monster game.  One thing the Spiders haven’t done well as of late is getting the deep ball to fall.  In their most recent loss to St. Bonaventure, Richmond went 6-24 from long range.

My prediction for this one will be a narrow victory for the Spiders.  The team will shoot the ball much better than they did last Saturday, and Grant Golden will have a big game down low, as well as in the assist category.  Tyler Burton puts someone on a poster, and the Spiders are in a much better position than they were last week.  Final score prediction:  Richmond 74 – Rhode Island 68.  See you tonight Spider Nation!

Richmond basketball fan covering the Spiders for A-10 Talk