The Richmond Spiders showed that they have the depth and offensive explosiveness to compete in the Atlantic 10 this season with a dominant win over the Longwood Lancers, extending their season-opening win streak to three games.
The Spiders’ ability to rebound was evident from the first possession of the game when Bria Powell missed a 15-foot jumper and three teammates fought for the rebound. Genevieve Okoro eventually came out with the ball and then missed a layup, which was rebounded again by Lauren Tolson. This would be the story for much of the game, as Richmond picked up 42 rebounds.
The game was tied at 12 early when Richmond went on a 23-7 run for nine minutes in the first half. The Spiders built an early lead and maintained it, winning 80-50. Okoro, who played only 11 minutes in the half, scored 12 points and was able to get some rest, as all 13 Spiders who dressed for the game saw time on the floor.
The Spiders’ defense was again a major factor in the game, as it forced Longwood to commit 28 turnovers. Liz Brown led the team with four steals and freshman Kylie Murphree added three steals. Murphree showed improvement in her court vision and ability to distribute the ball to her teammates, who were able to capitalize on Longwood’s ineffective defense and score 36 of their points in the paint.
Richmond put up 42 points in the first half alone, a score Longwood did not reach until there were four minutes left in the game. Of the 13 Richmond players to get in the game, 10 players scored, demonstrating the team’s depth and ability to run various rotations of players.
Tolson led the team with a career-high 21 points and was one of three Richmond players to score in double digits. Okoro and Janelle Hubbard, who added 15 points and made three 3-pointers, have scored in double digits in all three games this season.
Longwood was unable to stop the Spiders from penetrating its defense, as Senior Kerri Soppe and Murphree got the ball to players waiting under the basket for easy layups. Richmond scored 36 of its points in the paint. After Longwood point-guard Daeisha Brown went down with a knee injury, the Lancers committed 14 turnovers on errant passes and had poor control of the ball.
Richmond received contributions from freshman Micaela Parson, who scored two points, Alicia Hudalla, who grabbed two rebounds, and Karleigh Wike, who grabbed a couple of rebounds and added a point on a free-throw.
Richmond will next travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take on Central Michigan on Thanksgiving.