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Richmond Smacks Saint Joe’s, 79-56

The Richmond Spiders defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 79-56 in Hagan Arena today. Today’s game was the only matchup scheduled between these two schools in the 2020-2021 conference season. 

Richmond was led by Tyler Burton who finished with 25 points, 1 assist, and 5 total rebounds. Burton shot 10-13 from the field and 3-6 from behind the three point line.

On the other side, Saint Joseph’s University was led by freshman Jordan Hall who finished with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Hall shot 50% from the three point line and 46% from the field.   

Richmond Rebounds from La Salle Loss

Tonight’s game was the bounce back win that Richmond needed after their upset loss to La Salle University this past Saturday. On Saturday, Richmond was held to just 32% from the three point line and 41% from the floor overall. However, against the Hawks tonight, Richmond’s shooting percentages improved to 39% from three and 50% from the field overall. 

In addition to solid shooting, Richmond’s ball movement impressed as the team finished with 23 assists, compared to Saint Joe’s nine. The Spider’s defense was on full display as the team forced 18 turnovers and 10 steals. They were also able to hold Saint Joe’s to 39% field goal shooting. 

Saint Joe’s Struggles Continue 

Saint Joe’s continued to play without starters Greg Foster Jr and Ryan Daly. In addition to Daly and Foster’s absence, Saint Joe’s was also missing guard Jack Forrest. In recent news, Saint Joseph’s announced this week that Ryan Daly will have his cast removed from his arm. However, there was no information provided on a timeline for his return. 

One bright spot for the Hawks tonight was their three point shooting. While 37% from three isn’t amazing, it is a drastic improvement from the team’s season average of 30%. Yet it was not enough for Saint Joe’s to overcome Richmond.

Ryan Daly’s continued absence has left Coach Billy Lange with only one option, get Jordan Hall the ball! The freshman phenomenon has continued to impress. Tonight was his fifth game in double digit scoring out of the past six games. Hall has continued to emerge as a leader when Saint Joe’s needed one most. Hall’s consistency of play continues to increase as he works to build his resume for Atlantic 10 rookie of the year.

Is Coach Billy Lange’s Job In Jeopardy?

Jordan Hall is the only hope for both Saint Joe’s and Coach Lange. The fans are already starting to ask if Coach Lange was the correct hire. Unfortunately, the injuries in the starting lineup have made winning an almost impossible task for Saint Joe’s this year. However, fans of Saint Joe’s won’t accept that as an answer. The only thing that matters to them the team’s record. Coach Phil Martelli also dealt with injuries in his final two seasons at Hawk Hill, and he was promptly shown the door after finishing 30-35.

In my opinion, I do not believe that Coach Lange’s job should be in jeopardy. However, the fact of the matter is, Coach Lange’s job security now rest on two things. First, he will have to make Jordan Hall one of the best players in the Atlantic 10. Second, Hall’s progress will need to translate into wins.

What’s up next

The Richmond Spiders are scheduled to play Saint Louis this Friday (1/29). The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2 at 6:30pm EST. Saint Joseph’s are scheduled to play Duquesne this Saturday (1/30). The game will be aired on ESPN+ at 7:00pm EST. 

Like the coverage and want more? Make sure to follow me on twitter @Jelly_Morelli and check out my podcast “Tony’s Takes” on Apple iTunes and YouTube.