The Collegian
Saturday, January 16, 2021

18

Total cumulative cases

1284

Total COVID-19 tests

1.4%

Total positivity

14

Current cases

3.9%

Current monthly positivity rate

Women's basketball begins season 3-1

The women’s basketball team began its season about a month later than in previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A news article released by the Atlantic-10 Conference on Nov. 19 stated that both women’s and men’s basketball programs will conduct an 18-game conference schedule.

Despite a delayed start to the season, the women's basketball team boasts a 3-1 record.

The team's first and only loss was in the season opener against Virginia Tech on Nov. 25, dropping 64-85. Among many other cancellations seen across college basketball because of positive COVID-19 tests amongst staff and players, the Spiders' home opener against Georgetown University, scheduled for Nov. 29, was also canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test on the Hoyas' team.

The Spiders recorded their first win of the season in their official home opener against Navy on Dec. 2, winning 65-49. The defeat marked head coach Aaron Roussell’s 13th win against Navy in his past 14 matchups against them, dating back to his coaching days at Bucknell. The Spiders were able to put 25 points on the board from Navy’s 30 turnovers.  

Both junior guard Kate Klimkiewicz and junior guard Claire Holt shot double digits in the first two games. Holt also recorded three assists. Last year, Holt was second on the team in scoring, at 10.9 points per game, doubling her scoring from her first-year season, and with 46 three-pointers, according to her profile.

The team recorded another win in its second home game against Gardner-Webb University, recording a score of 85-73. This was the highest-scoring game for the Spiders since 2017, according to the Athletics Department. The team’s shooting percentage of 59.6 from the field is also the highest in Roussell’s time at UR. Klimkiewicz, a top scorer from the previous two games, recorded a career-high of 25 points. She also had 9 rebounds.

Klimkiewicz averaged 8.8 points per game during A-10 play and hit a team-best 25 three-pointers in 16 conference games last season, according to her profile.

In the matchup against Gardner-Webb, first-year guards Siobhan Ryan, with 13 points, and Grace Townsend, with 14 points, saw the court in the first two games of the season as well, putting points on the board on both occasions. 

Defensively, the team recorded nine blocks, with first-year forward Addie Budnik recording five of the nine. The team blocks are a program-high since 2014 against Georgetown. Budnik also contributed on the offensive side, grabbing five rebounds and scoring seven points off the bench. 

In the post-game interview, Roussell noted the team’s ability to earn a double-digit win without touching the three-point line in the second half. Although the team gave up many offensive rebounds, Roussell said that making the mistakes early in the season allowed the team to bounce back easily.

In their most recent game, the Spider's faced William & Mary away, defeating the Griffins 72-55. Budnik was the night's top scorer, putting up 23 points and adding three blocks, accounting for half the team's blocks. 

The team was 26-for-53 (49.1 percent) and finished the game with 19 assists, Townsend accounting for five. Holt and Klimkiewicz both recorded 11 points.

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After a week of final exams, the Spiders will return to the Robins Center with a game against Saint Francis at 2 p.m. on Dec. 13. All of the A-10 Conference games will be streamed live on ESPN+. 

Contact sports editor Grace Mittl at grace.mittl@richmond.edu.

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