Richmond (14-7) at Virginia Commonwealth (17-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 11 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Siegel Center (7,617) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Richmond 9-2, VCU 10-0. Away Record: Richmond 4-4, VCU 4-2. Neutral Record: Richmond 1-1, VCU 3-2. Conference Record: Richmond 4-2, VCU 5-1. Series record: Virginia Commonwealth leads, 42-26.
GAME NOTES: With four consecutive wins and nine victories in their last 10 contests, the VCU Rams are on a roll. They have an early start time on Saturday in an Atlantic 10 matchup against a tough Richmond team.
The Rams are coming off a 76-60 home win over Fordham Wednesday. Melvin Johnson netted a team-high 13 points. VCU also received 11 points courtesy of JaQuan Lewis. Juvonte Reddic recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, while Rob Brandenberg, Jordan Burgess and Treveon Graham scored nine points apiece.
Reddic is the lone player in the A-10 averaging a double-double in conference play (13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and he's second (12.2 ppg) in team scoring to Graham (15.7 ppg). Reddic leads the Rams on the glass (8.2 rpg). Johnson (10.4 ppg) is a key contributor off the bench, while Brandenberg (9.7 ppg) and Briante Weber (9.4 ppg) are also in the starting lineup for a team that is third in the A-10 at 76.6 ppg on offense. They're allowing only 65.9 ppg, but are 11th in field-goal percentage (.421).
VCU is leading the country in turnovers forced per game (19.8) and steals per game (12.0). A big reason behind the success is Weber, who enters this game three steals shy of breaking the school's all-time mark, set by Rolando Lamb (257) nearly 30 years ago.
The Spiders had a four-game winning streak broken Wednesday in a 77-57 setback at 19th-ranked Saint Louis. It was the third consecutive road defeat for Richmond. Kendall Anthony scored 14 points, while Derrick Williams recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds for Richmond, which fell behind 20-5 and could never catch up.
Richmond is third in the A-10 in scoring defense (65.7 ppg), second in field-goal percentage defense (.408) and second in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.282).
Senior Cedrick Lindsay paces the Spiders at 18.2 ppg and he's scored in double figures in 14 straight games. Sophomore Alonzo Nelson-Ododa controls the low post with 112 career blocks, but he's not much of a threat on offense (6.5 ppg). Anthony (14.0 ppg) is the only other double-figure scorer for the Spiders, who come into this game averaging 69.0 ppg, which is 11th in the A-10. Richmond is also struggling from the foul line (66.1 percent) and from long-distance (31.5 percent).
This inner-city rivalry is expected to be heightened not only because of the teams being 6.9 miles apart, but because the Rams will try to extend their home dominance of the Spiders. VCU has won seven straight meetings at home and eight of the past 10 meetings between the two schools overall. Not only that, but the Rams haven't lost yet at home this season in 10 games and enters this contest looking for their 16th straight win at home. The Rams haven't lost in the Siegel Center since Jan. 26 of last year to La Salle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 73, Richmond 63
02/01 10:13:25 ET