University of Richmond's women's basketball team has won four of its last five games and will begin conference play against St. Bonaventure this Tuesday. The Spiders are getting stronger and more formidable as the season progresses.
The team has played its last five games away from home. The Spiders began the trip with two convincing victories over UNC Wilmington and Western Kentucky and then built on their momentum with a close win over William & Mary, 59-56.
Richmond has proved that it has the offensive firepower to blow out teams and the defensive strength to compete late in close games and pull out victories. The team defeated Alabama-Birmingham on Dec. 30 in overtime, 71-65.
Although the Spiders lost their last game to Fordham in overtime, they have momentum heading into the conference schedule. The 65-64 loss was by just one point and came on a last-second 3-pointer.
A few Spiders increased their level of play during the road trip and will likely carry the team for the remainder of the season. Sophomore guard Janelle Hubbard averaged 16 points per game during the trip, leading the team offensively. Her backcourt partner and roommate, Olivia Healy, is finding her groove as well and playing increased minutes.
Healy has earned an increased role in each of the past six games, going from playing 16 minutes against Wake Forest on Dec. 16 to playing 37 minutes against Fordham. She is a threat from 3-point range and has averaged almost 11 points since playing Wake Forest.
Genevieve Okoro and Liz Brown remain anchors inside defensively. Okoro, the Spiders’ senior leader, proved that she can take over a game against Fordham – she scored 21 points, blocked five shots and had 13 rebounds.
Brown, not necessarily a stat-sheet superstar, brings maximum effort each game. Her hustle makes an impact on her team’s success regardless of how many points she scores.
The Spiders’ game against St. Bonaventure will be the first true test of the team’s ability to compete in the Atlantic 10. If the team continues to play how it has recently, Richmond should be a contender in the conference this season.
The game will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Robins Center.
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