Posted by Noah Goldberg

Twitter: @NoahGoldberg10

The Spiders are gearing up to face the Duquesne Dukes tomorrow night in the Robins Center. Richmond is coming off of their first win in the third game of conference play, albeit against a struggling GW team. Regardless, a road conference win is always important both for experience and confidence and improved the Spiders’ record to 7-9.

Coach Mooney went with a younger lineup, starting true Freshman guards Jake Wojcik and Andre Gustavson. Gustavson was able to space the floor and move the ball well, creating good shots for Wojcik who was 4-9 from behind the arc with 12 points. However, his 8 rebounds on the night were what really told the story. Richmond dominated the defensive glass with 30 boards and 38 total rebounds compared to the Colonials’ mere 13 defensive rebounds and 25 total rebounds. This limited GW’s opportunities for second chance points and allowed the Spiders to maintain rhythm back on the offensive end. The Spiders also were able to get to the line effectively, making 21-27 from the stripe.

The Dukes come into Richmond off a narrow victory against St. Joe’s, winning 85-84. Sitting at 11-5 (2-1 in the A10), the Dukes need every crucial conference win if they hope to find an automatic tournament bid in March. Sophomore guard Eric Williams Jr has led the Dukes in scoring this year with 13.3 ppg and nearly 8 rebounds. He’s shooting 39.5% from three this year on about five attempts per game so expect Jacob Gilyard to continue to be active defensively on the perimeter for the Spiders. The Dukes’ starting lineup alone averages about 10 turnovers per game which fares well for Gilyard, the nation’s third leader in steals. However, Duquesne freshman Sincere Carry trails him at fourth in the nation with about 3 per game. The two Richmond freshman starters will have to be active and alert on offense to avoid careless turnovers.

The Spiders will look to establish confidence and some reputation within the A10 as a still young, growing team. Expect them to come out fresh and active defensively against a Duquesne team seeking a conference title and potential automatic bid in March. Coverage starts at 6:30 on 99.5 FM & 950 AM ESPN.

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