The Collegian
Wednesday, August 04, 2021


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Spiders win home opener behind balanced offense

The University of Richmond women's basketball team is 2-0 this season after beating The College of William & Mary, 77-57, Monday night in the team's home opener.

Senior guard Abby Oliver led the Spiders with 19 points; 14 of them coming in the second half.

"I tried to relax more [in the second half] but really, I think it was just a team thing," Oliver said. "We were able to all calm down on offense, move the ball around and people got open shots and made them."

All five Spider starters scored in double digits: Oliver, Miah Register (12 points), Rachael Bilney (11), Genevieve Okoro (12) and Liz Brown (10).

"In reality, we're incredibly unselfish," Richmond coach Michael Shafer said. "Our team is really good at making that extra pass. I think they understand that they each have a role, and they all can score the basket in particular spots."

Bilney sparked an eight-minute, 12-4 run to start the game with two early three-pointers, and the Spiders never trailed. The score was 35-24 at halftime, and the team never led by less than six after that.

"This is as good as we've played in practice or any scrimmages," Shafer said. "So I'm really pleased with the way we played, particularly for being a young team."

Richmond led in almost every statistical category. The Spiders out-rebounded the Tribe 41-30, and shot 48.6 percent to the Tribe's 41.5 percent. But they also turned the ball over 29 times.

"We need to take care of the basketball, and we did better with that in the second half," Shafer said. "Again, that's youth and not playing as much together. I told them in the huddle, 'That's going to come.'"

"Turnovers hurt us today, but we still played pretty well besides that," Oliver said. "So if we can clean that up, we'll be even better."

The Spiders return to the court at 7 p.m. Friday when they host Boston University.

Contact staff writer Scott Himelein at

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