UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond (8-6, 2-0) travels up to Foggy Bottom to play George Washington (9-6, 1-1) in what has become a fantastic I-95 rivalry.
The last two games in the Smith Center have each gone to double overtime in dramatic fashion with GW winning two years ago, and the Spiders taking the victory last season.
Richmond opened the conference season at 2-0 with a win over Fordham on Wednesday. It marked UR's first 2-0 conference start since the 2010-11 season when Richmond went to the Sweet 16. The Spiders have not started 3-0 since 1997-98 when UR was a member of the CAA.
The Spiders shot over 50 percent from the field in the last two games and hit an average of 11 threes per game, good for third in A-10 play.
De'Monte Buckingham has been a beast on offense since becoming a starter. In his last five games, he is averaging 15.0 points per contest and shooting over 50 percent from the field.
T.J. Cline's double-digit scoring streak came to an end at 26 games vs. Fordham when he only managed nine points.Sunday's game will air on NBC Sports Network with online coverage through the NBC Sports app. Mike Corey and Ron Thompson will be on the call.
The game will also be on the radio on ESPN 950 AM and 107.3 BBT FM and streaming on RichmondSpiders.com. It will also be on Sirius Ch. 93 and XM Radio 201.will call the action over the radio airwaves.
|2016-17 SPIDER MEN'S BASKETBALL GAMEDAY CENTRAL - GEORGE WASHINGTON
|Who||Richmond Spiders (8-6, 2-0) at George Washington Colonials (9-6, 1-1)|
|When||Sunday, Jan. 8, 12 p.m.|
|Venue||Smith Center (5,000)|
|TV||NBC Sports Network | NBC Sports App|
|On Air||Mike Corey, Ron Thompson
|Radio||ESPN 950 AM | 107.3 BBT FM | Sirius Ch. 93 | XM Radio 201 | RichmondSpiders.com|
|Live Stats||Click Here|
The Colonials host Richmond fresh off a 73-69 home win over Davidson. GW is fourth in the league in scoring defense and second in rebounding margin.
Senior Tyler Cavanaugh has averaged 16.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest to lead the squad.
Series vs. GW
George Washington leads the all-time series 62-33, but the last two contests in Foggy Bottom have been barn-burners. Richmond drew a three-shot foul to force overtime two years ago, and GW banked in a three at the buzzer to force OT last year. In both games, the other team won the double overtime sessions.
Cline Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
T.J. Cline was named one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, given to a player that exemplifies leadership, community service, academic excellence and athletic success. The award will name the 10 finalists in February.
T.J. Cline is currently averaging 17.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
Cline is one of two players (NCCU's Cole, the other) in the NCAA to post his current averages in points, rebounds and assists. He has more assists than any player in the country his height or taller.
Cline nearly tallied a triple-double against Maryland, scoring 18 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. He then went for 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists at Davidson. No player has recorded a triple-double in Richmond spider history.
While De'Monte Buckingham has already earned a reputation for his defensive prowess with steals, blocks, rebounds and charges taken, his offense has been on display since joining the starting lineup at JMU.
He has reached double figures in each of the last five games, averaging 15.0 points per contest. He scored a career-high 22 points with four threes in a win over Fordham.
Start With Two W's
Richmond not only broke up Davidson's tremendous home winning stretch on Saturday (the Wildcats had previously won 38 of 40 at home), but the Spiders also opened A-10 play with a win for the first time since the 2012-13 season. UR then beat Fordham to start 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2010-11, the year Richmond went to the Sweet 16.
UR's last 3-0 conference start came in 1997-98 when the Spiders played in the CAA.
Nets On Fire
Richmond has torched the nets in A-10 play, shooting 53.4 percent in two games and averaging 81 points. The Spiders rank second in the league in conference-only shooting percentage, and UR is third with 11.0 threes made in the last two games.
Cline Locks In From FT Line
After shooting 5-of-9 from the free throw line in the season opener against VMI, T.J. Cline has locked down his free shooting to deliver at an 85.4 percent clip (47-of-55) since the opener. He currently leads the team in free throw shooting at 81.3 percent.
Play Big Lil' Guy
With freshman C/F Grant Golden going down with a heart issue and senior F Marshall Wood contracting mononucleosis, the Spiders have had to go small two straight wins. 6-8 Kwesi Abakah and 6-10 Paul Friendshuh have averaged 7.0 combined minutes in those games, while the rest of the time, UR featured just one player (Cline) taller than 6-4 on the court.
Need The Three
Richmond's offense has always been predicated on using the three-pointer as a weapon. The Spiders hit nine threes and shot a season-best 40.9 percent from long range in a win at JMU. Julius Johnson and Nick Sherod were big in that effort as Johnson knocked down a career-high three treys and Sherod scored a career-high 14 points.
After a 2-23 long-range shooting performance at ORU, Richmond bounced back to hit 12 threes against Davidson and then hit 10 treys against Fordham.
Richmond is 8-3 when hitting six or more threes in a contest.
The Spiders have always run an offense with constant motion and crisp passes that lead to shots in rhythm. Richmond is at its best when every player on the court is setting up someone else for a shot.
This year, the Spiders rank fourth in the league in assists (16.1) and fourth in assist-turnover ratio (1.3). Richmond has dished more assists than the opponent in 11 of the season's 14 games.
Against Fordham, UR posted a season-high 21 assists on 29 made field goals.
Climbing The Record Books
ShawnDre' Jones and T.J. Cline continue to climb Richmond's all-time record book. Jones now ranks 26th all-time with 1,258 career points.
Cline is right behind him at 1,250 points. Adding his points from his freshman year at Niagara, Cline has totaled 1,512 career points.
Jones also moved into seventh place all-time with 187 career three-pointers.
Richmond freshman Grant Golden collapsed on the court during the first half of the Texas Tech game. After a two-day hospital stay and extensive tests, doctors performed an ablation procedure aimed at fixing the cause of his cardiac episode. Golden is currently in Richmond undergoing further tests to determine the effectiveness of the procedure and a potential recovery schedule.
Best In The A-10
Over the last nine years, Richmond has won 89 conference games, the second-most among all A-10 schools (just one win behind Dayton). Richmond is one of just four A-10 teams to not suffer an overall losing season in any of the last eight years.
Over that same span, the Spiders have won 13 games against ranked teams, beating out every other Atlantic 10 team for ranked wins. Coach Mooney’s 13 Top-25 wins rank higher than any other coach in Richmond history.
With Richmond’s win against Boston College in November, the Spiders have now won 20 games against power-conference programs under Coach Mooney.