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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center (9,071) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Rhode Island 4-3, Richmond 8-1. Away Record: Rhode Island 1-3, Richmond 2-3. Neutral Record: Rhode Island 0-2, Richmond 0-1. Conference Record: Rhode Island 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Series Record: Richmond leads, 12-6.
GAME NOTES: The Richmond Spiders welcome the Rhode Island Rams to the Robins Center on Wednesday in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams.
Chris Mooney's Spiders opened the season with wins in nine of their first 11 games. However, the team hit a wall to close out the 2012 calendar year, with three straight losses. Richmond was able to end the skein to begin the 2013 portion of its schedule, routing Air Force on Jan. 2 in the non-conference finale.
Dan Hurley's first season at the helm in Kingston got off to a slow start, but the Rams have turned things around of late, with wins in three of their last four games to move to 5-8 on the year. Rhode Island closed out its non-league slate last Friday with a 59-47 win over Brown.
Richmond holds a 12-6 series advantage, including a 7-1 mark in games played at home.
The Rams shot just .327 from the floor last time out, but held a 48-37 advantage on the boards in a 12-point win over Brown last time out. Xavier Munford led the team with 18 points. Mike Powell was a close second with 16 points and six assists, while Andre Malone chipped in with 12 points.
Offensive production has been a problem for Rhode Island this season, as the team enters league play averaging a mere 60.8 ppg, doing so on just 39 percent shooting. Three of the team's five starters are averaging double digits, but the scoring pool dries up after that. Munford is putting up 17.5 ppg, but doing so on just over 40 percent shooting. Nikola Malesevic (11.5 ppg) and Malone (10.3 ppg) round out the top scorers on the roster.
Kendall Anthony erupted for a career-high 31 points, thanks in large part to seven 3-pointers in the lopsided win over Air Force. Darien Brothers got into the act as well, hitting six 3-pointers en route to a season-high 25 points. The Spiders really found their range in the win, tying a Robins Center record with 16 made 3-pointers.
Brothers is the team's sniper, leading the way in the scoring column at 15.7 ppg and leading the nation in 3-point accuracy (.550; 44-of-80). Scoring depth comes in the form of Anthony (13.7 ppg), Derrick Williams (13.6 ppg) and Cedrick Lindsay (10.0 ppg). However, that depth has been a little lacking of late, as Williams has missed the last couple of games with an ankle injury and is questionable for this contest.
The Rams are playing better of late, but coming into the Robins Center and leaving with a win against the Spiders isn't easy. Richmond is shooting the ball well right now and another barrage of 3-pointers could lead to a big win in the conference opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Richmond 71, Rhode Island 60
01/09 10:38:43 ET