The Collegian
Saturday, December 09, 2023

Spiders’ comeback falls short as VCU prevails 54-51 in a battle Wednesday night

<p>First-year Forward Maggie Doogan takes a free throw during the game against VCU on Jan. 11 at the Robins Center. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.&nbsp;</p>

First-year Forward Maggie Doogan takes a free throw during the game against VCU on Jan. 11 at the Robins Center. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics. 

The University of Richmond women’s basketball team fell to Virginia Commonwealth University 54-51 at home on Jan. 11, tallying the team’s fifth loss of the season. 

Entering the game, the Spiders were 11-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play. 

It was a rough start for the Richmond Spiders as VCU opened up the game with a 7-0 run two and a half minutes into the game. The Spiders struggled to get the ball into the basket, missing their first nine shot attempts. 

First-year guard Rachel Ullstrom scored the first points for the Spiders, sinking a 3-pointer. 

In the first quarter, the team shot 19% from the field, only making three baskets and attempting 19 shots. They were also 11% from the 3-point range, only making one basket out of nine attempts.

After the first 10 minutes, the Spiders scored only nine points and shot 20% from the field. Out of seven 3-point attempts, the team did not make a single one in the second quarter. The first half ended with VCU leading 26-17.

“It was about as frustrating the first half as you could have,” UR head coach Aaron Roussell said.

Roussell said that when looking back at the game, there were things he would like to fix, but he’s happy with how the team played.

“I thought we were pretty good,” Roussell said, “some of those early possessions we got where we wanted, and even after that early time out, I thought for the first two and a half minutes you know we were on our heels a little bit.”

In the second half, the Spiders played well. After the media timeout at the 4:54 minute mark in the third quarter, the Spiders went on a 16-3 run to end the quarter.

Graduate student forward Emilija Krista Grava hit a buzzer-beater to cut the lead to two points, and the quarter ended with VCU ahead 35-33.  

Many possessions later, Grava tied the game at 37, and from there, it was a back-and-forth battle between the Spiders and the Rams. 

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At 5:40 left, the Spiders took their first lead of the game from a bucket by sophomore guard Katie Hill, making the score 42-40. 

In the last five minutes of the game, VCU won the game by making late-game free throws. 

Sophomore guard Sydney Boone led the Spiders with 13 points and the second leading scorers, Grava and junior forward Addie Budnik, had nine points. 

The Spiders will look to bounce back as they take on Rhode Island away at 6 p.m. on Jan 18th.

Contact sports writer Sergio Amaya-Pacheco at 

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