A win on the Robins Court for the Spiders' last home game was a moment that senior basketball player Micaela Parson said she will not forget.
University of Richmond women's basketball defeated Davidson 62-53 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championships on Tuesday night at the Robins Center.
After suffering a 68-65 loss to Davidson away earlier this season, the Spiders retaliated by maintaining a dominating lead for the majority of the game.
The game took off with a three-pointer from Parson. Parson set the standard of play and held others to it throughout the game. With just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter, Parson launched the ball ahead of the defense to her sister Alex, assisting her three-pointer that brought the score to 12-6.
The final seconds of the first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game as Davidson stole the ball from Richmond and broke away for an attempted lay-up. The Spiders immediately responded with an interception at the top of the arc, culminating in another basket from Micaela Parson, which secured the Spiders a comfortable lead, 21-8.
The Spider's defensive game was practically impenetrable and arguably the difference between the team's performance on Tuesday and the last time it met Davidson. Coach Shafer attributed much of this to junior Kylie Murphree, because of the combined effect of her imposing defensive presence along with her four rebounds and five steals.
"The cool thing about Kylie, and it's totally underrated, is that we lost the game without her," Shafer said.
As the game entered the third quarter, Davidson inched closer and closer to Richmond, closing the 32-21 gap that was left at the end of the first half.
Junior Mackenzie Latt was Davidson's most valuable player last season and her performance was a testament to her continued outstanding performance. The forward was largely responsible for keeping the Wildcats in the game, offering two baskets during the first minutes of the third quarter and ultimately contributing 21 of the total 53 points earned.
Freshmen Alex Parson made it apparent that she has no trouble stepping out from under her sister's spotlight and making a name for herself on the court. During the second half of the game, she contributed three three-pointers, more than any other member of the team.
The two teams teams struggled as the game rolled into the fourth quarter — both failed to hit any shots for the first three minutes despite many attempts. However, Alex Parson turned the intensity back on when she broke the single season free throw record as she sunk her 146th and 147th free throws of the season.
The Spiders continued the momentum and regained a 49-41 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. In an attempt to reign in the Spiders, the Wildcats offered up 10 free-throw attempts in the last minute of the game. Despite a three-pointer from Davidson junior Justine Lyon, the Spiders finished with a 62-53 victory.
The Spiders will advance to the next round of playoffs, where they will play Dayton at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Richmond Coliseum.
Contact sports writer Paige Jeckering at firstname.lastname@example.org.