The Spiders finish the non-conference slate of their schedule Tuesday night after an 85-70 loss at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders found success on the boards and at the charity stripe in order to easily take down Richmond. The Spiders enter conference play with an 8-4 record after some games against tough teams. Their first conference game will be a home matchup with St. Joseph’s this coming Saturday. Here’s a look at Richmond’s performance in the non-conference portion of the season.
Richmond had its fair share of victories over solid opponents. The Spiders got a 94-90 victory over then #14 ranked California in the Las Vegas Invitational. Though the Bears have yet to really take off, they’re likely an NCAA Tournament team come March. One of Richmond’s better wins this season came on the road in November against Wake Forest. After a very impressive showing in the Maui Invitational, the Demon Deacons are starting to look like a tourney team as well.
Other solid wins came at home for the Spiders later in the season. They were able to take down Northern Iowa, a team that’s beaten North Carolina and Iowa State, and Old Dominion by double digits in each contest. Richmond took down its easier opponents pretty harmlessly and had a very potent offense throughout the beginning of the season.
Richmond’s worst loss of the year came in its home opener against James Madison when the Dukes were able to come away with the upset, winning 87-75 and shocking the Spiders. Richmond’s rebounding woe reared its ugly head right out of the gate as James Madison controlled the glass 40-23. When it comes time for NCAA Tournament selection, that’s going to be a game that the Spiders will wish they had back.
Richmond’s other three losses were understandable, coming at the hands of West Virginia, Florida, and Texas Tech. All three of those teams are shaping out to be very dangerous. That being said, the Spiders had a -48 rebounding margin in those three games. They’ll need to do a better job cleaning up the glass against better opponents.
The Spiders get a B because they had one of the toughest schedules in the nation and performed pretty well. The home loss to James Madison hurt, but besides that, the Spiders didn’t lose any games that they shouldn’t have. Wins over California and Northern Iowa could really come in handy come March, and the Spiders should have a decent chance at making the NCAA Tournament this season.