Brittani Shells led the women's basketball team to defeat the College of William & Mary 63-47 at the Robins Center Saturday afternoon, bringing the team to 8-0 for the season.
Shells scored 20 points and had eight steals during the game. She struggled through the first half, shooting only 1-8, but ended the game 8-19 from the field.
During the first half, William & Mary controlled the game, scoring 23 points and shooting 3-5 from the 3-point range. The Spiders were down by nine during the first half with 30 seconds left, but Shells and Rebecca Kretchman contributed four fast-break points, pulling the Spiders to within five points of the Tribe.
Despite the late scoring surge, Richmond's first half was abysmal. The Tribe beat the Spiders to loose balls and kept them from scoring for minutes at a time.
Richmond head coach Micheal Shafer said he was disappointed with his team's effort during the first half and told the team during halftime.
"I challenged their heart," Shafer said. "I challenged their intensity. I didn't think that they were showing a lot of effort on the court."
After halftime, the Spiders came out moving the ball quickly and setting the game's pace, putting up four points quickly and forcing the Tribe to take a time out. At 14:20, Shells gave Richmond its first lead since the first minute of the game with a layup, making the score 28-27.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Spiders had won by 16 points after being down by nine with 30 seconds left in the first half.
"We knew that we didn't play well the first half," Shells said. "We just got it together as a team. We knew we were playing a rival, so we dug deep and got the win. We just had to get mentally focused and play like we had practiced."
Shells said that the team had been running drills during practice, simulating a situation in which the team is down by 10 with three minutes to play. Shells credits those drills with preparing the team to mount the comeback during this afternoon's game.
Johanna McKnight also contributed to the win, scoring a season-high 16 points and grabbing three steals.
Contact staff writer David Larter at firstname.lastname@example.org
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