Ohio (7-3) at Richmond (8-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Robins Center (6,721) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: CSN-MA, WTVR 6.3. Home Record: Ohio 6-1, Richmond 5-1. Away Record: Ohio 1-2, Richmond 2-1. Neutral Record: Ohio 0-0, Richmond 1-1. Conference Record: Ohio 0-0, Richmond 0-0. Series Record: Ohio leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Robins Center will be the site for a non-conference showdown on Sunday, as the Ohio University Bobcats take on the Richmond Spiders.
The Bobcats have lost their way recently with losses in two of their last three games. The most recent setback can almost be excused as it came in an 83-71 final to No. 22 Massachusetts. Despite the recent stumbles, Ohio is still a respectable 7-3 on the year. Up next is a return home to face Longwood.
Richmond bounced back from an overtime loss on the road against Wake Forest to claim a 71-49 triumph over Coppin State last Saturday. The Spiders have had more than a week off to prepare for this contest, which continues a three-game homestand. Home cooking has served them well, as they are 6-1 at the Robins Center, where the homestand ends on Dec. 28 against Old Dominion.
Ohio won the only other meeting between these programs with a 73-48 victory last year in Athens.
The Bobcats outscored UMass off turnovers (17-10) but were on the short end of just about every other statistical category. That included scoring from 3- point range (27-15) and in the paint (40-32). Maurice Ndour registered 16 points, six rebounds and four assists as Ohio's top performer.
Also hurting the cause for Ohio was a lack of defensive pressure as it allowed the Minutemen to connect on 61.5 percent of their attempts from the floor. On the season the Bobcats are holding opponents to 66.3 points per game and 39.6 percent shooting. That makes up for their own rather pedestrian production (72.6 ppg, .448 FG percentage). Ndour (14.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.2 bpg) leads the scoring, anchoring the team on the interior. Nick Kellogg (13.7 ppg) provides a steady shooting touch from the perimeter and Ricardo Johnson (8.4 ppg), Jon Smith (8.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2 bpg) and Stevie Taylor (8.3 ppg) balance out the starting lineup.
Richmond enjoyed a very different outcome in its last game. The Spiders held Coppin State to just a 28.6 percent success rate on field-goal tries and outscored the Eagles, 20-9, off turnovers. Kendall Anthony nailed four 3- pointers and finished with a game-high 18 points.
Leading scorer Cedrick Lindsay (18.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) was absent in the win over Coppin State. The 6-foot-1 guard is listed as questionable yet again with a sprained left knee. Getting him back will certainly help the offensive efforts for the Spiders, considering he also leads the team in assists. Anthony (12.1 ppg) and Terry Allen (10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) are the next best scoring options, though the Spiders feature only one other player putting in more than six points per game. Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg) is that man, but he has been more critical as a defender protecting the rim.
Getting Lindsay back should add to the Spiders fluid offensive unit. Ohio may be able to keep up for awhile but eventually Richmond will pull away on its home court.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Richmond 78, Ohio 71
12/22 10:31:32 ET