Maryland aims to even out performance vs. Richmond in Bahamas
Two teams that are 120 miles apart are flying 1,200 miles to face each other Thursday on a basketball court for just the second time in four decades.
Maryland and Richmond, both coming off home wins in which they fended off challenges from Hofstra, meet on Thanksgiving night in the opening round of the Bahamas Championship in Nassau.
Maryland (4-1) survived the closer call against Hofstra, needing two free throws by Ian Martinez with 4.2 seconds left to win 69-67 on Friday. Three nights later, Richmond (3-2) rallied from 14 points down in the first half to race past Hofstra 81-68.
"Midway through the first half, we were able to impose our will," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "Being able to do that is going to be important later in the season."
Maryland is still in recovery after losing to Richmond's Atlantic 10 rival, George Mason, last week. The defeat, the first ever in 10 games against the Patriots, knocked the Terps out of the Top 25.
Maryland is trying to find some touch, hitting just 25.4 percent of its shots from beyond the arc to rank No. 338 among the 358 teams in Division I. Richmond has had no such struggles, making 40.9 percent of its 3-pointers to rank No. 26.
The Spiders' top two scorers are their most dangerous threats from long distance. Tyler Burton, who is averaging 19.8 points per game, is hitting 58.6 percent from deep. Grant Golden, who is averaging 17.6 points, is hitting 50 percent of his 3-point tries.
Richmond's floor leader, Jacob Gilyard, has passed Pepe Sanchez as the A-10's all-time leader in steals. He also is the school's all-time leader in assists.
Maryland will try to counter Gilyard with Fatts Russell (12.8 points per game). Eric Ayala (15.4 points) is the Terps' top scorer despite making only 12 of 42 from beyond the arc (28.6 percent).
"Maybe us getting out of here, going down to warm weather and just bonding, maybe we'll come back one of the hottest teams shooting the ball in America," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.
The teams have met only once in the past 40 years, that an 88-82 Maryland triumph in 2016.
The winner will face Louisville (3-1) or Mississippi State (4-0) on Saturday night.
--Field Level Media