The University of Richmond women's basketball team came up short against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers, 53-49, Sunday in the team's first game in the recently renovated Robins Center. Richmond freshman Olivia Healy was superb, but the Blazers (2-2) were too much for the Spiders (1-2) in the end.
Healy led the way for the Spiders, scoring 19 points and grabbing four rebounds. In only her third collegiate game, Healy played all 40 minutes of the game.
The heavily defensive game featured 20 lead changes, and it became apparent winning would come down to which team could make its shots.
"We need to get to the gym and knock down shots, which were open for us," Healy said.
Healy shot 44 percent from the field, but the rest of the team combined to hit only 25 percent. The Spiders only made one of their 16 three-point attempts in the game, the one coming from junior Keri Soppe late in the second half.
Richmond struggled with foul trouble all game. Spiders' starting center Liz Brown and guard Dazia Hall each picked up two quick fouls in the first half.
"It forced us into a very small lineup, and they were able to get on the boards and get some easy baskets," Richmond coach Michael Shafer said.
The game's physicality and defensiveness resulted in 43 turnovers between the two teams, Richmond with 19 and UAB with 24. Shafer was pleased with the way his defense played, he said. The Spiders had six blocks, 10 steals and they held UAB to only two three-pointers.
Karisma Chapman led all UAB scorers with 19 points. UAB guard Ashley Grimes was scoreless in the first half, but scored 10 crucial second-half points that shifted momentum in favor of the Blazers.
The Spiders are now 1-2 after the loss, but look to rebound Thursday against James Madison University.
Contact staff writer Will Oldham at email@example.com