First-half score: Richmond – 34, VCU – 22
Analysis: Richmond shot 32 percent from the field, as it trails at VCU, 34-22, at the half. Kendall Anthony leads all scorers with 11 points, but is shooting 1-5 from three. Richmond struggled early against the Rams’ signature Havoc defense, making one field goal in the game’s first seven minutes. VCU led 7-0 early, but the Spiders were able to cut VCU’s lead to 10-9 following Anthony’s sole 3-pointer. VCU blew the game open with a 14-2 lead that extended the Rams’ lead to 24-11. VCU’s defense sparked the run, as the Rams forced turnovers and rushed shots that got them out in transition. VCU held a comfortable lead following the run, which came midway through the half. The Rams shot 38 percent from the first half, but went 4-10 from three-point range.
What to look for in the second half: Richmond struggled to handle VCU’s defense, where the Rams play tight full court mad-to-man defense and look to trap whenever they can. VCU’s defense relies on creating turnovers, and the Rams’ forced seven turnovers in the first half. five of these turnovers came in the first eight minutes. Richmond cannot keep turning the ball over at this rate, and keep the game close. Guards Cedrick Lindsay and Kendall Anthony, who combined for five of the Spiders’ turnovers, will need to be the Spiders who settle the down the Spiders offense and take care of the ball. Richmond’s half-court defense looked pretty good against the Rams, and if Richmond can keep the Rams out of transition I think the defense will continue to do well in the second half.