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A10 Tournament semifinal preview: Richmond looks to avoid another sweep against Dayton

The Flyers won the matchup earlier this month 55-53

Richmond v VCU
Chris Mooney looks to lead Richmond to the A-10 championship for the first time in 11 years.
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Where to Watch

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

Tip Time: 3:30 p.m. EST

Television: CBS Sports Network

DraftKings Betting Line: Dayton -2.5, O/U 130

Dayton and Richmond squeezed past their opponents on Friday night so expect as much red inside Capital One Arena Saturday afternoon as a Capitals game.

The Flyers trailed UMass by 10 early but overcame the deficit and won 75-72. Freshman of the Year DaRon Holmes had his Flu game, scoring 28 points while quietly dominating the Minutemen.

Meanwhile, Richmond overcame a six-point first-half VCU lead to roll through the second half to a 75-64 win. Jacob Gilyard went insane in the first half, scoring 22 points. He finished the evening with a career-high 32.

Expect those two to go head-to-head and expect an absolute battle as Dayton will look for its first A10 title game appearance since 2015. Richmond is looking for its first championship game berth since 2011.

Richmond

This is what we’ve been expecting out of Richmond the past few years. The grit the Spiders showed to fight back and hold on to that lead all of the second half was impressive.

Gilyard went absolutely insane in the first half, draining everything that was given to him. He scored 22 points while hitting five-of-six 3-point attempts. He added on ten points in the second half to set a career-high for points at 32.

“Obviously, Jacob (Gilyard) was incredible,” Richmond head coach Chris Mooney said postgame. “[It was ] just one of the great performances by a Richmond guard and was just tremendous today.”

The Spiders lost to their rival VCU two times during the regular season. Now, they’ll have to avoid another season series sweep against Dayton as they lost to the Flyers by two to open up the month of March.

Dayton

“Can you call it the Flu Game?” a reporter asked DaRon Holmes postgame.

His response was yes.

Dayton came from behind to beat UMass on Friday, 75-72, and boy was it gritty.

The Minutemen led the entire first half and were completely dominating. They were up by as much as 10 in the frame.

They led for most of the second half but that’s when Holmes’ killer instinct kicked in. He went 6-for-7, scoring 12 points while leading the Flyers back to the A10 semifinals.

“We fell like Deuce is a heck of a player regardless of the points,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said, ”Deuce was able to take advantage of the situation as it presented itself.”

He only scored eight points in the matchup against Richmond earlier this month in a tight battle. For the Flyers to win again, they need to somehow get around that Richmond size and own the boards.

Prediction

This is going to be a fun one! Gilyard against Holmes in the back court. Add in the likes of Malachi Smith and the depth of Richmond. I’m expecting it to be a little bit more high scoring than the last time with both teams scoring in the 70’s but it will be very hard for the Flyers to own the boards again. I predict that Richmond pulls off an 87-83 victory.