Billikens Head to Robins Center
Your Richmond Spiders 12-3 (2-0 A-10) will host the Billikens of Saint Louis University 13-3 (2-1 A-10) tonight at 6:00 (ESPN+) at the Robins Center. The Spiders are coming off a road victory at the Ryan Center where they defeated Rhode Island this past Sunday. With a full week off, look for some fresh legs and a lot of energy for Richmond. Saint Louis is coming off a narrow victory over George Washington this past Wednesday in St. Louis. Tonight will mark the 19th all time meeting between the schools, where the Billikens hold a 10-8 lead in the series.
Richmond Finding Success
Obviously opening up conference 2-0 is a huge feat, but the Spiders aren’t sitting on that. This team is hungry and we can expect them to come out and really feed off of what is expected to be a big crowd. The Spiders are currently 8-0 at the Robins Center this season, and they just find ways to get it done. Jacob Gilyard is currently tied with Greg Beckwith for the most steals in Richmond history. When he gets that inevitable steal, we can expect a great ovation not only from the crowd, but also from Beckwith himself. Blake Francis still leads the team in scoring with 17.9 ppg. Once he gets going, he is hard to stop from all areas of the floor. Nick Sherod has started to warm up, and hit some big shots in their victory against Rhode Island. Grant Golden is holding steady at 12.1 ppg and 8.2 rpg. The player that we really need to watch is Nathan Cayo. Nate had a monster of a game on Sunday where he exploded for 19 points and 11 rebounds in the Richmond win. If Richmond can find a way to feed him and get Hasahn French in foul trouble, this one could easily go in the Spiders favor.
Who to watch on Saint Louis
The Billikens have plenty of weapons, but there is one surefire way to stop them. Send them to the free throw line. Through 16 games, the Billikens are 353rd in the nation in FT% at 55.4%. To compare, the Spiders are currently 3rd in the nation at 80%. Don’t be too surprised if this game turns into a hack a Billliken type of game. Despite the free throw troubles, the Billikens have 2 players who are averaging double-doubles. Jordan Goodwin at 15.4 ppg & 10.6 rpg, as well as Hasahn French with 13.3 ppg & 10.3 rpg. They are unfortunately missing guard Gibson Jimerson (Richmond, VA) for the remainder of the season due to foot surgery. If the Spiders can find a way to get French in foul trouble, I really like their chances in this one. This will be another bruising game down low, so expect Mooney to attempt to keep a big lineup out there.
The Spiders will improve to 13-3 and 3-0 in the conference due to another good shooting game from Blake Francis. Nick Sherod will keep his hot streak going knocking down a couple of key 3’s for Richmond, as well as Nathan Cayo having another breakout game. My final score prediction is Richmond 76 – Saint Louis 70. As always, be sure to follow along on Twitter at @AustinDaisey11 & @A10Talk. Don’t forget to head over to www.a10talk.com and register if you haven’t already so you can be active on our forum as well. See you tonight Spider Nation!