Xavier (12-8) at Richmond (13-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center (9,071) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: FSN-OH. Home Record: XU 8-2, UR 11-1. Away Record: XU 2-4, UR 2-7. Neutral Record: XU 2-2, UR 0-1. Conference Record: XU 5-2, UR 3-4. Series Record: Xavier leads, 13-4.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to continue their stellar play in the friendly confines of the Robins Center, the Richmond Spiders entertain the Xavier Musketeers in an Atlantic 10 Conference matchup on Saturday evening.
Since opening conference play with four straight wins, the Musketeers promptly lost two in a row. They got back on track with a 66-61 victory over Dayton on Wednesday night, and now play the next two on the road. They are currently tied with VCU for first place in the A-10 standings.
Richmond returns home after a two-game road trip where it dropped both contests, the most recent being a 71-64 decision at Temple on Wednesday night. The Spiders are looking to win their fifth straight home game and improve to 12-1 at the Robins Center this season. Their only home loss came against Davidson back on Dec. 15. The Spiders' best record playing more than 10 home games was a 14-1 mark during the 2009-10 season.
Xavier leads the series with Richmond, 13-4, including wins in nine of the last 10 regular-season meetings. XU is 6-1 against UR at the Robins Center, and the Musketeers won last year's tussle at Cintas Center, 65-57.
Xavier defeated Dayton behind 14 points from sophomore Dee Davis. The Musketeers dominated the rebounding battle, 36-18, including a 20-10 margin on the offensive glass. Senior Travis Taylor grabbed a game-high 11 boards, as XU defeated UD for the 28th straight time in Cincinnati.
One of the top freshmen in the conference, Semaj Christon leads XU in scoring (10th overall and first among freshmen in the A-10 at 14.8 ppg.), assists (sixth overall and second among freshmen at 4.6 apg) and steals (1.5 spg). Taylor adds 11.3 ppg on 54.0 percent shooting from the floor, and he leads the team in rebounding (8.2 rpg). Xavier allows its opponents to score only 60.7 ppg (52nd in the nation), while shooting just 40.5 percent from the field. A very good defensive squad, Xavier is in the top-five in the A-10 in scoring defense (60.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.409), and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.318).
On Wednesday night, the Spiders erased a 10-point, second-half deficit, but the Temple Owls were able to hold on for the victory. Senior Darien Brothers scored a game-high 22 points, which included a 5-of-10 showing from 3-point range, while sophomore Kendall Anthony added 10 points off the bench.
Leading the team is Brothers, who is sixth in the conference in scoring at 16.2 ppg. He is also tops the A-10 and second in the nation in 3-point percentage (.474), and is third in the A-10 and in the top-25 in the nation in both 3-pointers made per game (3.0) and free throw percentage (.882). As a team, UR leads the league in 3-pointers made per game (8.5) and is second in the league in 3-point percentage (.381). Richmond's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, junior forward Derrick Williams (13.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg), has missed the last eight games, but could be available on Saturday. Sophomore guard Kendall Anthony (13.0 ppg) injured his knee in the closing minutes of Wednesday's game and is also listed as questionable.
Although the Spiders have been nearly unbeatable team at home this season, the Musketeers have never had a problem playing and winning games at Richmond. With injuries to key players, combined with XU's defensive prowess, Richmond will have difficultly scoring points and will likely see its recent run of success at home come to an end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Xavier 67, Richmond 60
02/02 11:33:21 ET