The Collegian
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

First half run sparks Richmond win against UMass

The University of Richmond women's basketball team used a 28-10 run at the end of the first half to propel it to an 82-68 victory over the University of Massachusetts Saturday afternoon at the Robins Center.

Sophomores Brittani Shells and Crystal Goring and junior Danielle Bell led the charge during the final 7:33 of the first half. The three combined to score 23 of the 28 points during the run.

"During those runs it seems like we are just playing and we don't think as much," Bell said.

Shells had the big play to start the rally. On an Massachusetts inbound play, Shells stole the ball and took it down the court for a lay-up. On the ensuing inbound pass, she stole the ball again and shot another lay-up.

The Spiders went into the half carrying a 51-36 lead. The advantage swelled to 18 with 15:29 left in the second half.

Shots then stopped falling for the Spiders, allowing the Minutewomen to cut the lead to single digits with 7:58 left in the game. Freshman Abby Oliver and Shells outscored the Minutewomen 8-2 over the next two minutes to give the Spiders their comfortable lead back.

With the win, Richmond improved to 16-4 and 4-1 in Atlantic-10 Conference play. UMass dropped to 8-12 and 3-2 in the A-10.

Freshman Samantha Bilney finished the game one assist shy of a triple-double. She recorded 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

"If I were her," Richmond coach Michael Shafer said, "I would be mad at the person at whoever didn't hit her shot. She gives you effort and hustle. She made plays that she didn't get credit for."

"I didn't try to do anything special," Bilney said. "I didn't mean to almost get a triple-double."

Richmond came into the game leading the A-10 with an average of 11 steals per game. The Spiders finished the game with 12 steals.

Four Richmond players scored in double-figures. Shells led all scorers with 20 points while Oliver added 12, Bell added 11, and Bilney had 10.

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"That's where we need to be," Shafer said. "You can score a lot easier when you have that type of balance and shot distribution."

The Spiders next play a crucial A-10 game at noon Tuesday at home against the University of Charlotte. Coming into today, both the Spiders and 49ers were tied for second in the A-10 with a 3-1 record.

Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at

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