The University of Richmond Women’s Basketball team defeated St. Bonaventure University 57-49 Wednesday night at the Robins Center to move to 4-7 in A-10 play and 7-17 overall.
Sophomore guard Alex Parson led the way with 14 points on 6-11 shooting, and graduate student guard Daijia Ruffin scored 12 of her own, including six in the fourth quarter.
The Spiders came out hot, opening the game on a 6-0 run. Parson and first-year guard Molly Mraz paced the team in the first quarter with five points each, and the Spiders shot 3-7 from deep and scored eight points off of St. Bonaventure turnovers.
With a 21-12 advantage entering the second quarter, the Spiders kept up the pace, outscoring the Bonnies 14-5 in the second quarter behind Ruffin and first-year forward Emma Squires, who each scored five in the quarter alone.
The Spiders forced 11 turnovers in the first half, and held St. Bonaventure’s top three scorers to eight points combined. Holding a 35-17 lead, the Spiders went into the second half in position to secure their fourth win of their last six games.
The third quarter ended with the Spiders up 13 despite improved play by the Bonnies. Parson led the way with 14 points heading into the final quarter, and also showed off her passing skills by hitting junior forward Amy Duggan with a perfect bounce pass off of a pick and roll.
Coach Michael Shafer said he had wanted the team’s first half pace and ball movement to continue through the entire game.
“In the second half, particularly in the third quarter, I don’t think we moved the ball as crisply and as quickly as we need to,” Shafer said. “I think we need to be consistent for 40 minutes.”
St. Bonaventure opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run, capped by a long three pointer by Mckenna Maycock, who scored 12 to lead the Bonnies. Ruffin quelled the run with a layup, but Maycock countered with a layup of her own to keep the Spider lead at six with 7:17 to play.
St. Bonaventure's Amanda Oliver made a second chance effort to bring the Bonnies within four, the closest the game had been since the opening two minutes. After that basket, the Spiders went on a 6-0 run to effectively put the game out of reach. Ruffin iced the victory by making two free throws with 17 seconds left.
The Spiders wore pink shoes for the Play4Kay initiative, which supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow won 737 games over a 38 year coaching career with Elon University and North Carolina State University, and is a Basketball Hall of Fame member.
Richmond junior Jaide Hinds-Clarke entered tonight’s game with a five game double-double streak, but fell just short, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“She’s become a better rebounder,” Shafer said. “She’s become a go-to force for us inside.”
The Spiders will next travel to Saint Louis University for a conference game Sunday. The Spiders would be the 11th seed in the A-10 tournament if the season ended today. Shafer said he had consistently described the season as a learning process, but noted growth in the team’s play.
“I think they’re getting more mature as a basketball team,” Shafer said. “I think they’re learning how to play with each other a little bit more. It’s taken longer than we’ve hoped, but with nine new players, I don’t think it was a quick thing.”
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