The Collegian
Friday, February 23, 2024

Women’s basketball starts season with win against Liberty

<p>Junior guard Grace Townsend runs past Liberty University's defense at the team's first game of the season on Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.</p>

Junior guard Grace Townsend runs past Liberty University's defense at the team's first game of the season on Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond women’s basketball team defeated Liberty University 69-48 in the team’s season opener on Nov. 7.

The Spiders started the game off slowly in the first quarter, trailing 9-1 almost four minutes into the game, but as the second quarter started, the team was able to get back into the game after going on a 15-0 run. At halftime, UR led 33-22. 

From there, the Spiders never looked back. At the end of the third quarter, the Spiders led by 18 points, and at the end of the game, UR defeated the Flames by 21 points. 

Junior forward Addie Budnik led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds. Juniors guard Grace Townsend and guard Siobhan Ryan also chipped in 14 points and 13 points, respectively. 

On the day, the team shot 47.8% from the field and 45% from three-point range. 

“Really, really proud of our group,” UR head coach Aaron Roussell said in the postgame press conference. “I think we’ve worked really hard in the offseason trying to correct a lot of mistakes and kind of weaknesses from us from last year.” 

Last season, the Spiders finished 16-14 overall, with a 7-9 conference record. The team came into the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament with the eighth seed and had a first round bye, but in the second round, lost to ninth-seeded Davidson College 66-62. 

Budnik said the team worked a lot on spreading the floor in the offseason.

“Just sharing the ball, having really good chemistry both on and off the court and I think that really showed today,” Budnik said. “And my teammates did a really good job finding me the ball when I was open and when [the defense] collapsed on me, people were hitting outside shots, so it’s just a really good team game and a team win.” 

With this win against the Flames, UR begins the season 1-0. The last time the Spiders played LU was in 2016, where UR also won, 63-54. 

“I think this was huge for us, just helping build our confidence going into the year,” Budnik said. “They’re a really good team, so having this win under our belt I think will help us do really well come conference and the rest of non-conference.”

UR’s next game will be the team’s home opener against Mount St. Mary’s University on Nov. 10.

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