William & Mary (3-2) at Richmond (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center (9,071) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 1-1, Richmond 4-0. Away Record: W&M 2-1, Richmond 0-2. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Conference Record: W&M 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Series Record: Richmond leads, 100-97.
GAME NOTES: The Richmond Spiders will try to stay perfect at home as their rival William & Mary comes to the Robins Center for non-conference action.
The Tribe enter on a two-game losing streak after their 63-57 loss to Wake Forest on Friday. William & Mary began the season with three straight wins as it picked up double-digit victories over Hampton, Liberty, and High Point. However, that ended when it ran into Miami-Ohio, as the RedHawks ran off to a 72-59 decision. Coach Tony Shaver has clearly placed an emphasis on defense this season as the Tribe is leading the nation in three-point defense and holding opponents to just 61.2 ppg.
Richmond is off to a 4-2 start with its losses coming on the road to Minnesota (72-57) and Ohio University (73-48). The Robins Center has been kind to the Spiders however, as they took down Liberty, UNC Wilmington, Hampton, and Wofford on their home floor. Their success at home is a common occurrence, as they are 31-4 versus non-conference opponents in their last 35 games at the Robins Center.
This is the 198th meeting between the two schools, which makes it the longest standing rivalry for both sides. Richmond holds a 100-97 edge, having won the last two meetings by an average of 27.5 points.
William & Mary is very good defensively, but its offense has not shown up in its past two outings. The Tribe scored 74.3 ppg over their first three contests this season, but they were held to 58 ppg by Miami and Wake Forest in their losses. W&M relies heavily on 3-point shooting for production, but it has connected on only 9-of-39 from long distance during its brief and current losing slide. Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton is the go-to-guy for the Tribe. The shooting guard has picked up one CAA Player of the Week award this season and leads the team with 17.6 ppg. Brandon Britt is adding 15.4 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per contest from the other wing while forward Tim Rusthoven is chipping in 14.4 ppg. The three-headed scoring monster is accounting for just under 70 percent of the team's scoring. Senior point guard Matt Rum is leading the CAA in assist-to-turnover ratio, but his inaccuracy from the floor (17.2 percent FG) is hurting the offensive flow.
The Spiders were without starting point guard Cedrick Lindsay versus Ohio, which turned out to be the difference. Richmond led by two points with 14 minutes to play before Ohio went on a big run to cruise to a 25-point victory. The Bobcats were able to control the pace without Lindsay guiding the Spiders, who committed 19 turnovers in the loss. The Tribe will not be as lucky as Ohio as Lindsay was cleared to play on Wednesday. The trio of Derrick Williams, Darien Brothers, and Kendall Anthony did their best to make up for Lindsay's absence. Williams is a wide-bodied (6-6, 275) forward with averages of 12.5 points and 6.5 boards per game. Anthony is leading the team in scoring with 15.2 ppg and his backcourt mate Brothers is a close second with 15 ppg, thanks to a team-high of 13 makes from beyond the arc.
Richmond was missing a vital piece of its winning formula its last time out. Lindsay's presence will propel the Spiders back to their winning ways as W&M has too many weaknesses to escape the Robins Center with a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Richmond 71, William & Mary 61
11/28 10:33:36 ET