RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Spiders aren’t sunk yet in the Atlantic 10 thanks to their new two-game losing streak, but their not exactly in a favorable position either to stay in the top four spots of the conference standings either.
Richmond lost a game it needed to win hosting George Mason Sunday night, and instead of starting with the energy necessary to show this was a must-win game the Spiders started ice cold and flat. It was “Headband Day” for goodness sake! Everybody was in a great mood and ready to roll, which is where we start my takeaways.
For a recap of the game, here’s a link to our story: George Mason downs Richmond 82-77 behind Moore’s 25 points
- “Approaching the game”: Spiders head coach Chris Mooney said in the postgame press conference that he hopes his team will look at how they approach the game. I don’t think he meant the game as a whole, more so how they turn the build up and preparation leading up to a game and then capitalizing on it from the opening tip. The Spiders allowed George Mason to shoot 57% in the first half and give up 49 points, while they couldn’t buy a bucket for almost five minutes to start the contest. Richmond during their four-game win streak to begin Atlantic 10 play always put their best foot forward and took a commanding lead before halftime. Sure, Richmond can claw back but it’s having to do it in such a deep hole.
- Owning the boards: Richmond was outrebounded 48-37 against George Mason. When Khwan Fore is getting eight of those rebounds, it’s not good. It’s great for Khwan Fore, but not good if he is only three who were close to double-digits on the glass. The Spiders don’t have the height or athleticism they’d like to have on the low-block for rebounding, so it has to be a team effort. De’Monte Buckingham has done a superb job picking up the slack from TJ Cline (who again, by the way, dropped a double-double: 21 points, 11 rebounds), but guys like Marshall Wood and Nick Sherod make more of a splash in this category. If it means more hustle and more rotation from Chris Mooney to weather the conditioning, then I say go for it. Julius Johnson and now Joe Kirby can come in and help alleviate some fatigue.
Richmond hosts Rhode Island this Wednesday in a make or break game for the Spiders in the conference standings. UR is sitting fourth in the A-10 at 5-2 in conference, URI is 4-2 in conference sitting 5th. If the Spiders defend their homecourt against the talented E.C. Matthews, Richmond can take a deep breath and remain confident they’re still in the NCAA tournament hunt.