BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The VCU men’s basketball team is preparing to take on the University of Richmond in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament Friday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
UofR’s 76-64 victory against Duquesne University in the tournament’s first round on Thursday helped set up the third meeting between the Spiders and Rams this season.
VCU claimed both previous matchups this season, and received a double bye in the A-10 tournament by virtue of a top-four finish (No. 2) in the conference’s regular season standings.
Head coach Shaka Smart’s team will seek to limit Richmond guard Kendall Anthony, who exploded for 31 points in a Feb. 1 matchup between the cross-town rivals. VCU won the game 81-70 at the Siegel Center, but Anthony combined with teammate Cedrick Lindsay to score 52 of the Spiders’ 70 points.
Likely guarding Anthony on Friday will be VCU point guard Briante Weber. The junior, who scored 18 total points in the Rams’ two previous meetings with Richmond, led the nation with 111 steals during the regular season, including nine thefts in VCU’s two wins against the Spiders.
Junior Treveon Graham led a balanced VCU scoring attack with 18 points in the Rams’ 56-50 come-from-behind win at the Robbins Center on March 6.
VCU erased a double-digit deficit in the second regular season meeting, and Spiders head coach Chris Mooney said his team will need to handle the Rams’ defensive pressure more effectively this time around.
“I think we missed opportunities when we were up by 11 to pull away,” Mooney said after UofR’s first-round victory against Duquesne on Thursday. “Of course, they deserve all the credit. Their aggressiveness and their pressure obviously has an impact on almost every game.”
VCU leads the all-time series against UofR 44-26.
Friday’s tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.