Despite leading by a point at halftime, Richmond women’s basketball lost to Hampton by double digits on Saturday, negating a solid first half by letting Hampton score at will in the second half.
The Spiders (3-4) outshot the Pirates (2-5) in the first half, but allowed them to shoot 56 percent from the field in the second half while shooting only 36 percent themselves. Hampton’s offense was balanced, as the Pirates had four players score in double figures to help them beat Richmond 64-53. Malia Tate-Defreitas led the way with 16 points, Kenia Cole and Ryan Jordan each added 14, and Kyani White had 12.
For Richmond, Lauren Tolson scored a team-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, to go along with seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass. Liz Brown had 11 points and eight rebounds, and Janelle Hubbard chipped in 13 points coming off the bench.
Genevieve Okoro was honored before the game for being the 21st Richmond women’s basketball player to score 1,000 points in her career. Okoro was held to just three points against Hampton though, and struggled with foul trouble throughout the game, sitting out long stretches of play. After the game, head coach Michael Shafer gave the Hampton defense credit for containing Okoro.
“They did a really good job of packing it in,” Shafer said. “The defense sucked in towards Gen, and so it wasn’t easy to throw it in there, and even if we did, there were two or three people around her and she had to kick it out.”
With Okoro limited and the Hampton defense concentrated inside, the Spiders scored only 14 points in the paint compared to 24 for the Pirates. The Pirates broke down the Richmond defense for multiple easy layups in the second half, which helped them pull away.
Richmond turned the ball over 19 times, and Hampton turned those turnovers into 24 points. Every Spider who played significant minutes turned the ball over at least once and many were unforced errors and miscommunications.
The Spiders have proven to be a streaky team even in the early season, winning their first three games, but losing their last four. Shafer believes his squad’s losing streak can be attributed to defense.
“I’m not real pleased with where we are defensively,” Shafer said. “I know we’re not giving up a ton of points, though we did against JMU, but we’re not having an effect defensively and consequently we have to play a lot of half-court offense.”
Shafer’s point rang true as his team only scored four points in transition and found itself playing out possessions deep into the shot clock because of a stifling Hampton defense.
The Spiders’ next matchup is a home game against Wake Forest University at 2 p.m. next Sunday.
Contact reporter Walter Abrams at email@example.com
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