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The Spiders snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday by advancing in the opening round of the A10 Tournament. Meanwhile, Saint Louis earned a bye after finishing the conference season with a 10-8 overall record. Can Richmond make it to the quarterfinal round with an upset over the Billikens on Thursday?
Richmond escapes opening round with win over Fordham
Richmond escaped with a 52-50 victory over Fordham in the opening round on Wednesday night thanks to a last-second basket by Nathan Cayo, who finished with a team-high 15 points in the win. Noah Yates added 10, while Grant Golden finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to help the Spiders keep their season alive.
Chris Mooney’s squad enters this matchup slotted at No. 202 in the latest KenPom rankings as they try to run the table and earn an unlikely bid into the Big Dance. The Spiders have scored 106.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (136th in the NCAA) and 105.0 points per 100 possessions during league play (4th in the A10). Richmond sports an effective field goal percentage of 55.3 percent (2nd in the A10), while turning the ball over on only 15.6 percent of their offensive possessions (2nd in the A10) in conference play. Richmond shares the ball on offense better than any team in the A10, but poor free throw shooting and a lack of second-chance opportunities has limited their efficiency on offense. The Spiders sport an offensive rebounding rate of 17.4 percent (14th in the A10) and they are shooting a paltry 63.9 percent from the free throw line as a team (13th in the A10).
On defense, Richmond has surrendered 109.7 points per 100 possessions (269th in the NCAA) and 109.2 points per 100 possessions versus A10 opponents (13th in the A10).
Billikens end off regular season with disappointing defeat
St. Louis snapped a two-game winning streak last weekend, losing to St. Bonaventure on the road 66-57. Tramaine Isabell finished with 21 points and Hasahn French added 14 in a losing effort for the Billikens, who were outscored by 12 points over the final 10 minutes of the second half.
Travis Ford’s squad comes into the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament ranked No. 133 in the latest KenPom rankings. St. Louis has scored 101.5 points per 100 possessions for the season (235th in the NCAA) and 100.8 points per 100 possessions (9th in the A10) versus A10 opponents. The Billikens sport an effective field goal percentage of 46.3 percent (12th in the A10) and they have turned the ball over on 19.0 percent of their offensive possessions during conference play (10th in the A10). Instead, they’ve been forced to crash the offensive glass and get to the free throw line at a high rate. St. Louis has hauled in a league-leading 37.7 percent of their missed field goal attempts in league play (1st in the A10), while also sporting the top free throw rate in the A10 at 39.7 percent.
On defense, the Billikens have surrendered 97.5 points per 100 possessions for the season and 99.1 points per 100 possessions in league play (5th in the A10).
- Over is 4-0 in Billikens last 4 neutral site games.
- Over is 4-1 in Billikens last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Over is 6-2-1 in Billikens last 9 overall.
- Spiders are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
- Spiders are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games.
- Spiders are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These two teams faced off earlier this year with the Spiders taking down Saint Louis at Chaifetz Arena 84-81. Winning games away from home has been a major challenge for the Billikens this season and they went 0-2 in their two neutral court contests earlier this year. The Spiders should come into this game with some confidence after pulling out a thrilling win over Fordham yesterday afternoon. Take Richmond to cover the spread in this conference tournament battle at the Barclays Center on Thursday night.
Prediction: Pick: Richmond Spiders +4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Richmond ranks among the most efficient offensive teams in the conference and they had plenty of success on the road against the Billikens earlier this year. St. Louis is a team that struggles to score, especially from the outside, so they will have to generate a lot of points on the offensive glass. Luckily for them, the Spiders struggle to rebound the ball on the defensive end, which should give St. Louis a few extra opportunities on the offensive end. Take this A10 battle to go over the projected total at the Barclays Center on Thursday night.
Prediction: Over 135.5