Despite starting 5-0, Richmond women's basketball has slipped to an uncomfortable spot with a 9-10 overall record and a 2-4 record against other Atlantic-10 teams.
Though the team’s win-loss record may not be ideal, it is not necessarily an accurate depiction of the performances they have been putting on. The Spiders have played many close games where the opponent broke away late in the second half, and they have also had many personal player achievements.
In the most recent showdown against VCU on Jan. 25, sophomore Micaela Parson jumpstarted her team by scoring 17 points in the first half. Only one field goal was made by a player not named Parson in the first half. By the end of the game, she had 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals, marking her best overall performance to date.
The Spiders were able to enter the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, but a quick 6-0 run by the Rams gave them the push they needed to get ahead and stay ahead, locking in a 53-42 victory. Last year the Spiders conquered VCU twice, but they will play them once more at home on Valentine’s Day trying to even this season's series.
The 64-53 loss to St. Joseph’s on Jan. 13 had a similar feel, with the Spiders going into the locker room at halftime with a lead, and then losing after a second half run by the Hawks. Freshman Salita Greene had her first career double-double in that game with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She has been a starting option at forward for the Spiders.
When the Spiders have won, it's been because they've been able to execute offensively and avoid falling into long scoreless spells. Their defense in particular has stood up against big teams, allowing an average of only 60 points per game all season, but the offense averages 57.6, which explains the losses.
The Spiders' leading scorer is junior Janelle Hubbard. She had her career-best performance when the team beat the University of Massachusetts, scoring 32 points and helping the Spiders to a 74-68 victory. Hubbard is currently ranked 16th on the Spiders all-time scoring list with 1,107 points. She averages 16 points per game.
After Hubbard, sophomore guards Parson and Kylie Murphree carry the team. Murphree, who leads the team in steals and is second in blocks, is a defensive specialist. Parson averages 12.9 points per game, and leads the guards with 29 offensive rebounds.
Senior Lauren Tolson has been another weapon for the Spiders on both ends of the court, with 35 defensive rebounds and 13.4 points per game. She has played only eight games though, due to a leg injury that she received early in the season. Regardless of whether she is on the court or cheering her team on from the sidelines, she still demonstrates great leadership.
The Spiders are currently ranked 11 out of 14 in the A-10 Conference, but there are still opportunities left in the season to move up in those rankings. The conference is currently led by George Washington and St. Bonaventure.
The team has lost four of its last five games and is (0-2) at home in conference play, but will try to change those trends at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Robins Center against Duquesne.