No. 19 Richmond looks to keep rolling on Wednesday as they host 1-3 Northern Iowa at Robins Center.
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The game (6 p.m. ET start time) will be televised locally on NBC Sports Washington, but if you don’t have that channel, anyone in the US can watch Northern Iowa vs Richmond live on ESPN+ right here:
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Northern Iowa vs Richmond Preview
Richmond is off to a 3-0 start to the year, but it hasnʻt been without some drama. The Spiders were able to hold off Wofford in their last game thanks to a late 3-pointer from Jacob Gilyard to put the game away.
“You know he didn’t shoot well, but he took the right shots. He was aggressive and obviously running the show and running our team,” head coach Chris Mooney said of Gilyard, who finished with 18 points on 6 of 14 shooting. “He does score, but even in a game where he didn’t score [often], he is so valuable to us.”
Gilyard really does his damage on the defensive end, having led the nation in steals a year ago. He had five against Wofford and is averaging 4.3 per game this season.
“Blocking shots is a really intimidating stat traditionally, but a steal and a layup is what I would think is the most intimidating stat, or the most difficult thing to overcome, for the other team,” Mooney said.
The win over Wofford was far from Richmondʻs biggest win of the season. That was the Spidersʻ 76-64 win against Kentucky at the end of November.
“A lot of it was our defense and our maturity,” said Mooney. “Two years ago we were a young team that had dealt with injuries and transfers. I’m not making excuses; those are just facts. I was responsible for the failures. But you could see we had a group that had the potential to be very good in the not-too-distant future.”
Nathan Cayo leads Richmond in scoring, netting 17.3 points per game. Heʻs shooting an outstanding 75 percent from the field. Gilyard is doling out 5.7 assists to lead the Spiders, while Tyler Burton is the teamʻs leading rebound-getter at 7.7.
Northern Iowa picked up its first win of the season last time out, knocking off the St. Ambrose Fighting Bees 98-53. Trae Berhow led the way with 19 points and five Panther were in double-figures. But Northern Iowa is in for a much bigger test against the nationally-ranked Spiders.
“Watching them play at Kentucky you could just feel the experience coming through the TV screen,” Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson said of Richmond. “When you think about breaking down the film and personnel and breaking down what they’re doing on offense and defense, not only are they older and have a ton of experience, they’re just really good.”
Richmond is a 9.5-point favorite for the matchup. The total is set at 149.