Coming off a nail-biting loss earlier in the season to the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, the women's basketball team looked to get back in the win column in Atlantic 10 play. The Spiders defeated the Rams 73-60 Wednesday night, with all five starters in double figures.
The Spiders took an 11-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game, playing with high intensity and good pace. Richmond tried to take advantage of a young Ram team that includes seven freshmen. After an official's timeout, the Spiders led 26-18 with less than seven minutes to play in the first half.
Playing fundamental basketball throughout the first half, the Spiders had 12 assists, grabbed 17 rebounds and had balanced scoring distribution. They went into the locker room at halftime controlling the tempo and leading 36-24.
Richmond carried its first-half momentum into the second half, scoring the first three baskets, which increased the lead to 42-24. With about 12 minutes to go in the game, Richmond continued to play aggressively and put themselves in excellent spots to score the basketball and led 46-30.
Attack-minded play from seniors Kris King and Lauren Tolson, along with freshman Janelle Hubbard, allowed Richmond to penetrate lanes and make open shots. They continued to break VCU down, leading 60-37.
VCU rallied and went on a 15-2 run with three minutes remaining and trailed 62-52. But Richmond stood its ground, up 12 points with under a minute to play in regulation. Redshirt-junior Genevieve Okoro was a nightmare for VCU's defense, with 17 points and 16 rebounds. After the game she said: "We are able to fill gaps well and play efficiently. ... Nobody left anything on the table."
Richmond Michael Shafer was pleased across the board, noting that his team played with great resilience. He said his game plan was simply, "Don't let them score and score more than them... We took away what each of their player's was able to do best."
The Spiders split the season with VCU and have their final regular season game this Saturday when they travel to George Mason.
Contact reporter Richard Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org