VCU is in the middle of their longest home stand of the season. This four game stretch continues against Richmond. Most A-10 schools have played two conference games so there isn’t much separation yet and any team could emerge from the pack. VCU, winners of their last two, have an opportunity to set themselves up with an early conference win streak.
Richmond comes into the Siegel Center at 7-7 and 1-0 in the league. The cross town rivals split the series last year when each group defended their home court. The home court advantage seemed to be worth 11 to 12 points; those were the margins of victory for those contests.
Shooting by the Numbers
The Spiders struggle offensively with an average of 57 points per game. You can’t blame that low number on the team trying to slow down the pace of play because their shooting percentages are poor. From the field Richmond shoots 35% and from three it’s 24%. This year’s VCU squad isn’t exactly a paradigm of efficient shooting but when compared to Richmond their numbers look impressive (40% fg 30% 3fg). VCU’s shown some self-awareness this year about not being a great shooting team which has led them to become more effective offensively. They use the three point shot like a triple option offense in football uses a pass play, sparingly but in situations where it will surprise the opponent and be highly effective. Especially after they run the ball consistently or in VCU’s case pound the ball inside for most of the game. Their last two outings featured 3-6 and 4-9 shooting from three. That shows great awareness and discipline from the girls in black and gold. Those numbers might represent the sweet spot for their success.
Richmond is a guard oriented team, including their top three scorers and two best rebounders. Janelle Hubbard is their leading scorer averaging 13 points. The senior guard is a bit of a volume shooter, making only 35% from the field. Right behind Hubbard in points per game is Micaela Parson, who average 12 per contest. Parson is a junior guard who makes 44% of her baskets from the field. Parson is also the best player on the team at getting to the free throw line. She’s there almost twice as much as any other Spider and she makes 72% of those shots. The Spiders third leading scorer is Lauren Tolson with 10 points per game. The 5’8 graduate transfer is also the leading rebounder on the team, averaging 6 every outing. That trio of guards is responsible for 60% of Richmond’s offense and 40% of their rebounds.
Against Richmond’s guards look for Beth O’Boyle to rely on her deep backcourt to produce for the Rams. Keira Robinson, Mooriah Rowser, and Isis Thorpe should see plenty of opportunities to fill up the stat sheet. Speaking of filling up the stat sheet, Curteeona Brelove has played exceptionally well over the last three games. Brelove has scored 16, 19 and 20 to go along with rebounding performances of 13, 14 and 8. If the junior forward can continue to manufacture performances like her last three, VCU will be a much more dangerous team in this conference.
Showtime (Televised Games)
Luckily for Rams’ fans these next two games will be televised on CBS Sports Network. These contests represent a great opportunity for VCU to show off their program to a much larger audience. So come out to help make the Siegel Center pop off the screen for the television audience.