The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Richmond wins 10th straight over URI, 70-46

The University of Richmond women's basketball team had its best offensive game in nearly one month and defeated the University of Rhode Island, 70-46, on Saturday night at the Robins Center.

The team's 48 percent shooting was the best since the Spiders' 76-47 win against George Washington University on Jan. 19. Sophomore Abby Oliver credited the team's defense for creating easy opportunities.

"Our defense was the difference tonight," Oliver said. "We got steals that led to easy layups."

The 16 steals that Richmond recorded led to 10 points on the fast break and 32 points from within the lane. Richmond coach Michael Shafer said the easy buckets made it easier to score, even on the set offense possessions.

"I think a lot of times, offense is feel, confidence, and rhythm," Shafer said. "I think any time you can get easy layups, all of a sudden your jump shots start to get a little more free, a little more open. And I think that was the case tonight."

Richmond was led by junior Brittani Shells, who scored 20 points, and Oliver, who tied a career best with 19 points. Oliver set that career high during Richmond's last game, a 67-55 loss on Feb. 7 to Xavier University, which was No. 7 at the time.

Junior Katie Holzer, Richmond's starting center, left the game with 11 minutes left during the second half after she hit her head on the floor. Holzer, who had nine points at the time, did not return to the game and will be tested for a concussion.

Richmond jumped out to an early 19-4 lead after junior Crystal Goring got a layup off of an inbounds play. The Richmond offense went cold during the next seven minutes and saw the lead cut to 19-12.

"We weren't able to create easy [shots] and we went cold," Shafer said. "When you are in the middle of February, people know everybody's stuff. Everybody is scouted well, so shots are hard to come by. The more you can create easy shots, the better off you'll be."

The Spiders were able to put defensive pressure back on the Rams and Richmond was leading 34-16 going into the half. The Spiders consistently forced turnovers by Rhode Island during the second half and ended up forcing 34 turnovers for the whole game, exactly twice as many as the amount of URI baskets.

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The win improved Richmond to 16-8 and 5-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. It was also the Spiders' 10th-straight win over the Rams.

The Spiders' next three games will be against teams directly ahead of them in the A-10 standings. The three-game spurt starts when the Spiders play at Saint Bonaventure University at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17. Richmond will then host Saint Joseph's University on Feb. 21 and Temple University on Feb. 24.

"I feel like our basketball team feels good right now," Shafer said. "They are in a good place. I think we are ready to take that challenge. It's going to be difficult, obviously, but that's what the league is and that's what the teams are in this league. They are good teams."

Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at andrew.prezioso@richmond.edu

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