The Richmond Spiders (10-4, 4-2) play host to the #22 Saint Louis Billikens (7-2, 0-1) tonight at the Robins Center (6:30/ESPN2). Richmond is coming off a dominant performance in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, where they defeated Saint Joseph’s 79-56. The Billikens last outing resulted in a loss to rival Dayton 76-71 in St. Louis. Travis Ford’s squad had not played a game since December 23rd due to Covid issues within the program. Richmond will look to avenge last season’s loss in their only matchup last season.
Getting Hot at Home
Richmond has struggled as of late with shooting the rock at the Robins Center. In the Spiders 3 losses at home, they shot a combined 21-73 (29%) from deep. If the Spiders want to defeat the Billikens, they need to hit the three ball tonight. Blake Francis found his groove on Tuesday night, shooting 7-12 from the field, including 3-6 from deep. Having a good showing tonight will not only go a long way for the team, but also to his confidence. Tyler Burton is another guy that really showed up for Richmond in their last game vs the Hawks. Burton finished with a game high 25 points on a 10-13 shooting night. He was all over the court for the Spiders, as he also led the team in steals with 3. Richmond could really use Tyler’s athleticism as they matchup with a very physical Billikens team.
Keys to Victory
Grant Golden will need to have a big night down low not only offensively, but also on the boards as well. Hasahn French is a monster down low, who could give Richmond’s interior some trouble. If Golden and Matt Grace can limit his offensive production, I like the Spiders chances of making Saint Louis beat them from deep. As a team, Richmond needs to pick up on their defensive effort from their last outing, as they forced 18 turnovers. If the Spiders can take care of the ball, and make the Billikens turn it over, this game could easily swing in Richmond’s favor.
This is a very intriguing matchup as the Spiders are starting to sense some urgency to win games, and the Billikens are just ready to suit up and get on the court. We can expect Saint Louis to come out better than they did vs Dayton, but I believe that Richmond finds their shot and wins this game tonight 78-73 in a tight one. As always, be sure to follow along on Twitter at @AustinDaisey11 and @A10Talk. See you tonight Spider Nation!