The Spiders played with intensity and composure down the stretch in Sunday’s win over Georgetown, shutting down the Hoya offense in crunch time and making 11 free throws to seal the victory.
During the last three minutes and 21 seconds of the game, Richmond sunk 11 of its 12 free throw shots while limiting Georgetown to just four points during that span. Head coach Michael Shafer attributed his team’s strong play late in the game to experience.
“[We had] the right shooters on the free-throw line and [didn’t turn] it over down the stretch, and that’s just a result of our experience,” Shafer said after the 65-57 win.
The Spiders’ offense thrived because of the three-headed attack of sophomore Janelle Hubbard, junior Lauren Tolson and redshirt senior Genevieve Okoro. Hubbard had 17 points, five rebounds and four steals, and Tolson scored 16 points and made six rebounds.
Okoro scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots despite playing only 18 minutes because of foul trouble.
The Spiders missed Okoro’s length -- the team allowed the Hoyas to make 11 more rebounds than they did. Regardless, Richmond kept the game close with a balanced attack and solid perimeter defense on Georgetown’s guards.
“We kept fighting,” Tolson said. “[Genevieve] is a huge contributor on our team, but we definitely have other players who can step into that role and play hard.”
Tolson’s 16 points matched her career best, and she benefited from extra minutes because of Okoro’s foul trouble. She provided a necessary spark off the bench and kept the Richmond offense from stalling in Okoro’s absence.
Dominique Vitalis had 19 points and eight rebounds for Georgetown and Dorothy Adomako added 11 points and 11 rebounds, but the Hoyas’ inability to convert Richmond turnovers into points hurt them throughout the game.
Despite forcing only two more turnovers than Georgetown, Richmond capitalized on the chances better than its opponent, turning 20 Hoyas’ turnovers into 24 points while Georgetown managed only nine points off of 18 turnovers.
Another story throughout the game was the constant stoppage in play because of foul calls against both teams. By the end of the contest, Richmond had committed 17 fouls compared with Georgetown’s 21, many of which were intentional.
Coach Shafer chalked it up to an early-season learning curve.
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“I think both the referees and the players are trying to figure out what the games are going to be like early in the year, and players are trying to figure out what they can and can’t get away with,” Shafer said. “I think once midseason comes, we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on.”
This victory comes on the heels of a win over Providence on Friday and moves the Spiders to 2-0 this season. Richmond will try to keep its undefeated streak alive against Longwood at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
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