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La Salle (17-7) at Richmond (12-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 8th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center (9,171) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: La Salle 12-0, Richmond 8-3. Away Record: La Salle 4-6, Richmond 3-8. Neutral Record: La Salle 1-1, Richmond 1-1. Conference Record: La Salle 6-3, Richmond 3-6. Series Record: Richmond leads, 13-12.
GAME NOTES: The Richmond Spiders try to end a three-game slide tonight as they confront the La Salle Explorers in Atlantic 10 Conference play at the Robins Center.
Aside from a lopsided 102-58 thrashing of Fordham a few weeks back, the Spiders have been having some trouble keeping up with the tougher competition in the A-10. In fact, the team has dropped five of the last six outings following an 81-72 setback versus Duquesne on the road in Pittsburgh last Saturday night. Not only did Richmond fall to 3-8 in true road games in 2011-12, the team also slipped to 3-6 in conference and that has the unit tied with both Charlotte and George Washington for 10th place in the conference standings.
As for the Explorers, they are just a sniff away from the top spot in the A-10, their 6-3 league mark locking them in a four-way tie for second place coming into the week. Even though they were playing on a neutral floor at The Palestra, the same court where they defeated Penn (68-57) less than a month earlier, the Explorers were taken down by Saint Joseph's on Saturday in a 70-66 final, snapping the program's four-game win streak.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, La Salle's records show that the Explorers are down one game to the Spiders at 13-12. Richmond won the most recent meeting last year by a convincing 87-68 final.
Earl Pettis led three La Salle players in double figures in the meeting against the Hawks, putting up 17 points, but he generated those points based on a mere 6-of-18 shooting from the floor and 3-of-9 behind the three-point line. Ramon Galloway tacked on 14 points and seven rebounds, followed by Sam Mills with 11 points as each one of those three played at least 34 minutes in the losing cause as the team shot a mere 33.3 percent from the floor collectively. The only player to have started every game for La Salle this season Tyreek Duren, who failed to score in double figures over the weekend, remains one of the top scoring option for the group with his 13.7 ppg, thanks to his 42.0 percent shooting behind the three-point line. But perhaps just as important as his point production, Duren is also the primary ball handler for the group and has used that position to dole out 103 assists to keep players like Galloway (15.1 ppg) and Pettis (15.0 ppg) happy.
The Spiders knew they were in trouble after shooting 52.6 percent from the floor, including 5-of-12 behind the three-point line in the first half, and still trailing at the break versus Duquesne. Eventually Richmond would absorb the nine-point loss, but not until Kendall Anthony scored a game-high 21 points off the bench, followed by Derrick Williams with 16 points to go along with six rebounds. Cedrick Lindsay recorded a double-double for the visitors with 11 points and 11 assists, but the team finished with almost as many turnovers (16) as they did dishes (17). Even though Anthony comes off the bench almost exclusively, he is now the leading scorer overall for the Spiders with his 14.1 ppg, just ahead of Darien Brothers (14.0 ppg) as the pair combines to knock down 112-of-267 shots behind the three-point line. One of the most aggressive perimeter shooting teams in the country, the Spiders have knocked down 200 such shots, compared to only 99 for the opposition.
Letting loose with an average of 22.5 three-point attempts per game, the Spiders are living and dying based on their ability to connect on difficult shots, so as long as La Salle can extend the defense and give Richmond problems from long range, this should be a victory waiting to happen for the Explorers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 67, Richmond 57
02/08 10:31:35 ET
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