The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Spiders defeat George Washington, stay perfect in A-10

Tough, relentless defense led to quick transition baskets in Tuesday's women's basketball game at the Robins Center as Richmond handily defeated Atlantic-10 foe George Washington University, 76-47.

The Spiders (14-4, 3-0) extended their A-10-leading winning streak to six games, remaining undefeated in conference play. It was Richmond's third-straight win against George Washington. With the win, the Spiders lead the conference heading into two crucial road games at the University of Dayton and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"We had full-court pressure on George Washington for a large portion of the game to speed up the tempo of play," head coach Michael Shafer said. "That full-court pressure led to turnovers, which we turned into easy layups.

"Easy layups are a backbreaker to any team. When your team consistently hits wide open layups in transition offense, that gets the other teams' heads down until it snowballs out of control."

The transition baskets helped Richmond shoot 51 percent from the field, because the 3-point shooting hovered around 17 percent.

"We're more than a 3-point basketball team," junior guard Brittani Shells said. "There's no guarantee in any game that we'll shoot 50 percent from the 3-point line. We need more in our arsenal."

Shells led all scorers with 16 points, followed by sophomores Abby Oliver and Joyous Tharrington with 13 points each. Tharrington tied her career high, which she set during the Spiders' win over the University of Massachusetts last Saturday. Junior Katie Holzer scored 10 points.

George Washington's Megan Nipe scored 13 points and Tiana Myers tallied 12 points during the loss, which dropped the team down to last place in the A-10 conference standings.

Shafer praised his team's balanced scoring, with four players in double-digits, and its unselfish play, which led to 24 assists.

"They played so well together," Shafer said. "Whenever your team records 24 assists, that speaks volumes about their chemistry and teamwork."

The 24 assists were a season high for the Spiders. Shells said those assists were the result of working hard at both ends of the floor.

"We pressed a lot on defense and that kept us aware and moving around," Shells said. "Having energy gave us a boost to capitalize on our assists into easy baskets."

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Tharrington quickly set the tempo when she scored six-straight points, giving Richmond an 8-2 lead to start the game. After the Spiders took a 16-8 advantage, the Colonials responded with two quick jumpers to close the gap to four points later in the first half. Then Richmond went on a 9-0 scoring run, taking a 25-12 lead with 8:29 left in the first half.

The Spiders led at the half, 37-18, and then they came out stronger than before.

"At UMass, we played extremely well in the first half but then we slumped in the second half," Shells said. "Coach Shafer told us since then that we play 40 minutes of basketball; the second 20 minutes are even more important.

"We want to be a respectable team by putting in another strong 20 minutes of basketball. Buckling down and working through it were our keys to success."

Richmond continued to lead George Washington in all statistical categories during the second half. It took its largest lead at 71-38 with 3:30 remaining.

The Spiders hope to continue their conference success at 2 p.m. on Saturday in a key A-10 contest at Dayton.

Contact reporter Amelia Vogler at amelia.vogler@richmond.edu

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