Olivia Healy missed a triple double by three assists, as more than 1,400 students and faculty from 22 local schools watched University of Richmond (8-10, 2-3 Atlantic 10) push past the George Mason University Patriots (6-12, 0-5 A-10) in overtime, 67-64, Wednesday afternoon.
Healy, a first-year player who finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, broke out of a small slump, as she had not scored in double figures in the previous three games.
"The pull-up was there a lot," Healy said. "Coach Shafer has some new plays for us to run coming off screens and trying to square up. Mid-range is where I could get it today."
Head coach Michael Shafer said he had been impressed with Healy's rebounding in particular.
"I thought she rebounded as well as she scored," Shafer said. "I thought she hit open shots when she had them, but I think her rebounding kept us in the basketball game."
Healy picked up her seventh assist when she passed up an open jumper to feed Genevieve Okoro for a game-tying layup with 0.7 seconds left in regulation.
"Honestly, I thought that [Healy] was going to take the shot," Okoro said.
"I didn't feel comfortable shooting that shot," Healy said. "I know you're not supposed to dwell on it, but I wasn't hitting it."
George Mason's counter to Healy was Sandra Ngoie, who finished with 29 points and nine rebounds.
Shafer credited much of Ngoie's success to her quick release. She went 6-14 from three-point range.
"If you even turn your back on her, all it's got to do is hit her hands and she can get it off," Shafer said. "She showed us that tonight and made us pay."
The Spiders played much of the first half without senior starter Kristina King, who watched the final 16 minutes of the half from the bench after picking up her second personal foul. King finished 11 points and four rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
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Healy and first-year Janelle Hubbard made up for King's absence, as they combined for 15 of the Spiders' 24 first-half points. Hubbard finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
Richmond jumped to a seven-point lead early in the second half after being tied at the break. Ngoie responded with 13 points in a five-minute span to give George Mason its first lead of the half with less than seven minutes remaining.
Richmond regained the lead on a Healy layup with 3:05 to play, but Ngoie hit her sixth three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to put George Mason up, 53-52.
The Patriots hit one of two foul shots to increase their lead to 54-52 with 12 seconds remaining, and Okoro's layup forced overtime.
Richmond never trailed in overtime.
With the win, Richmond leads the all-time series against its in-state rivals 33-22. This was the first Atlantic 10 game between the teams, though, since George Mason joined the league this year.
Shafer credited Richmond's marketing department for getting the local students to attend this game. "It's really cool ... to have the community in here and have that loud of an environment," he said.
Contact staff writer Jack Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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