First-half score: Richmond – 35, Saint Joseph’s – 28
Analysis: Richmond leads at the half in large part because of its three-point shooting. Richmond shot 7-14 from long range in the first half. St. Joe’s conversely went 1-7 from three. St. Joe’s, however, found success in the paint. Richmond could not handle Halil Kanacevic, a bulky 6-8 forward. Kanacevic averages 10 points and eight rebounds but already has 12 points and 12 rebounds. Richmond played much of the first half without Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, who has three fouls. Kendall Anthony leads the Spiders with 10 points.
What to look for in the second half: Even though Richmond is leading, I think St. Joe’s is in control of the game. St. Joe’s dominated the paint, outscoring the Spiders 22-6. St. Joe’s was just as dominant on the boards, as it out-rebounded Richmond 22-16. Mooney needs to find a way to slow down Kanacevic and the rest of the Hawks’ forwards, but that becomes even more difficult when Richmond’s best interior defender is in serious foul trouble. Richmond relied on jump shots in the first half, and so far they are making them. But can Richmond keep making them at this rate? I don’t think so. Richmond needs to either play better around the basket or keeping making shots to hold on to its lead.