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Florida vs. Richmond, Game Thread: Gators look to avoid Spiders' bite

Florida's fallen to Richmond before, but a better Gators team should be able to solve the Spiders' defense.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Florida finishes its nonconference schedule Saturday with a home game against Richmond. And while it's not the most difficult game the Gators have played so far this season, it's a tricky one.

The Gators are familiar with the Spiders' bite, having suffered a loss in a 2009 matchup between the two teams in the Orange Bowl Classic, but the 2013-14 Gators are better than that team, and Richmond's not as good — the Spiders have been very good throughout Chris Mooney's tenure in town, but the core of that 2009-10 team went on to be the core of the 2010-11 team that made the Sweet Sixteen.

This Richmond team depends on excellent defense, especially on the perimeter, to asphyxiate other squads. Just four teams have scored 70 on the Spiders this season, and only one team has mustered 80.

But, on the flip side, when that Richmond defense is cracked, the Spiders struggle: Richmond lost all four of those games when allowing more than 70, though it went to overtime with Wake Forest and Ohio in two of those losses.

If Florida has a clear advantage anywhere, it's inside. Patric Young, Will Yeguete, and Dorian Finney-Smith should all hold their own on the offensive and defensive boards against the undersized Spiders, though Terry Allen and the wonderfully named Alonzo Nelson-Ododa are each good players in their own right, and Nelson-Ododa promises to be a terror inside on defense, as he blocks shots on 10.2 percent of opponents' possessions.

But if Florida at least holds an edge on the boards and keeps sniper Kendall Anthony, who's taken 96 threes (and made 37) through 14 games, mostly in check? This should be another comfortable win for the good guys.

You can catch Florida vs. Richmond on CSS/Cox Sports if you have it, but your better bet is ESPN3, as usual. I'll be a little late with the recap, as I'm just getting back to town and need to run some errands before I write it up, but it should exist no later than 6:30ish.