The University of Richmond women's basketball team secured an easy victory over the University of Massachusetts, 89-63, Wednesday night at the Robins Center, extending the team's home winning streak to five games.
The Spiders scored their points early and often. Just four minutes into the game, Richmond led the Minutewomen 18-2.
Junior Abby Oliver's sharpshooting fueled the Spiders' quick start. She led the team with 20 points, recording 16 points in the first 15 minutes of the game.
"I've been working on my shot a lot, but the key tonight was the team moving the ball around," Oliver said. "Everybody got open shots and everybody made them."
Oliver said that a weakness of the team this year had been getting out to an early lead, but then letting up and allowing the trailing team to come back.
"Tonight we stayed up and kept pushing the lead," she said.
Wednesday night's game was the team's first at home since December 12. Senior Brittani Shells said it was great to be home. Shells, the nation's 10th leading scorer, had 13 points and three rebounds against UMass.
The one bad moment for the Spiders came when senior Crystal Goring, the team's leading rebounder, limped off the court at the end of the first half and did not return in the second half.
"She rolled her ankle," Richmond coach Michael Shafer said. "The trainer told me not to put her back in."
The Spiders used 12 different players in the game and 11 of them added points to the Spider cause. Despite so many players shuffling in and out, Shafer was able to keep his team playing hard. He used the fact that the game was televised on CBS College Sports as a motivating factor.
"I asked the team, 'Do you want people to see you moping and being complacent on TV?'" he said.
The win makes the Spiders 2-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 11-5 overall. The team's next game is against Rhode Island at noon on January 16 in Providence, RI.
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