Hofstra (1-2) at Richmond (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center ( 6,721) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Hofstra 1-1, Richmond 2-1. Away Record: Hofstra 0-1, Richmond 0-0. Neutral Record: Hofstra 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Conference Record: Hofstra 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Series Record: Richmond leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Richmond Spiders will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season as they welcome the Hofstra Pride to the Robins Center for a matchup in the Hall of Fame Tip Off.
Since arriving in Hempstead from Niagara over the offseason, coach Joe Mihalich has led the Pride to a 1-2 record. Hofstra was dismantled last Tuesday in its most recent outing as it suffered a 97-69 setback at Louisville to the defending national champions. The team split its first two games at home as it bounced back from a season-opening loss to Monmouth with a rout of Fairleigh Dickinson. Although they were held just under 70 points by the Cardinals, the Pride averaged 84 points per game in their two mid-major matchups at home.
Richmond experienced a rare non-conference loss at home on Friday as Minnesota pulled off for a 74-59 victory to drop it to a 2-1 standing. The Spiders began their season with a two-point decision over Delaware and an eight-point victory over Belmont, which recently knocked off North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Coach Chris Mooney's squad has gone 39-6 in its last 45 non-league games at the Robins Center. The Spiders graduated two starters from a season ago, but returned eight of their top-10 scorers.
This will be just the third meeting in history between the Pride and Spiders. Richmond is 2-0 versus Hofstra with the most recent encounter taking place in the 1992-93 campaign.
The Pride reloaded with a pair of graduate transfers in Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) and Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) over the offseason. The duo has combined to form a very dangerous one-two punch for the Pride instantly. Nesmith played all 40 minutes versus Louisville and was not intimidated as he poured in a career-high 24 points and dealt out six assists, while converting 8-of-15 field goal tries. Nesmith has connected on 7-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc over the past two games. The 6-foot-6 Upshaw has also been impressive, netting 15.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game. Upshaw had 17 points and six boards at Louisville. Jamall Robinson and Chris Jenkins are both carrying double-digit scoring averages while starting center Moussa Kone is contributing 9.3 points a team-best eight rebounds per outing. However, Hofstra does not have very much depth.
Richmond has plenty of experienced reserves on the front line and has one of the top backcourts in the Atlantic 10 Conference, although it has underachieved so far. Senior guard Cedrick Lindsay has finished with 15 points in his last two games and is averaging a team-best 16.7 ppg on the season despite missing all nine of his attempts from beyond the arc. Lindsay knocked down 34.1 percent of his 3-point field goal attempts last season, so he is due to start connecting. Kendall Anthony is averaging a career-low 10 ppg. Sophomore forward Terry Allen's minutes have more than doubled from his rookie season and he is averaging 10 points and a team-best 9.3 rpg in his expanded role.
The Spiders are going to have a breakout performance sooner or later and it is more than likely the Pride will find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time on Tuesday. Richmond has been winning despite poor play from its guards, who have proven they are more than capable of performing at a high level. Hofstra will need to add some more pieces before it can compete with a strong mid-major program like the Spiders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Richmond 78, Hofstra 59
11/19 10:54:28 ET