The Collegian
Saturday, March 25, 2023

Spiders advance to A-10 tournament quarterfinals with win over Dayton

<p>Junior guard Grace Townsend at the Atlantic Tournament in Wilmington, DE on March 2.&nbsp;</p>

Junior guard Grace Townsend at the Atlantic Tournament in Wilmington, DE on March 2. 

The University of Richmond women’s basketball team defeated the University of Dayton 71-60 in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament Mar. 2. 

After wins over Virginia Commonwealth University and St. Bonaventure University to end the regular season, the Spiders traveled to Wilmington, DE and continued their winning streak against the No. 12 seeded Flyers. 

Gameplay was back-and-forth throughout regulation as there were 20 lead changes over the course of four quarters and 10 times when the score was tied. Through one quarter, UR and Dayton were tied at 11 and after quarter two, Dayton had the edge 29-27. 

UR did not shoot well from 3-point range in the first half as the team went one-for-five from the arc in the first quarter and one-for-six in the second quarter, respectively. The Spiders got the job done in the paint, though, as at the final buzzer, UR outscored Dayton 42-26 in points in the paint. 

In the second half, gameplay still proved back-and-forth as the lead changed hands several times. In the beginning of the third quarter, Dayton led by four points but by the end of the quarter, UR led by three points, 45-42. 

UR eventually pulled ahead in the fourth quarter as first-year guard Rachel Ullstrom hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Spiders up by eight points with just over a minute to play in regulation. 

From there, the Flyers did not score again and No. 5 UR emerged victorious 71-60.

“I mean, this time of year, it’s gonna be a fight no matter what game it is, no matter your seed, so I thought that we did a really good job staying together,” junior forward Addie Budnik said in a postgame press conference. “We stayed really calm as well and I think that was huge. We stuck to the game plan and just carried it out through the end.” 

Budnik, who recently joined the 1,000-point club in her career at UR, led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Grace Townsend had 15 points and Ullstrom had 14 points off the bench. First-year forward Maggie Doogan was one point shy of a double-double as she totaled nine points and 10 rebounds. 

“I think there’s a lot of confidence in this group right now and maybe even more swagger than maybe I thought this group would have,” UR head coach Aaron Rousell said after the game. “And you never know, right? Obviously that these games can go either way, the lead changes in this game, seemed like it happened a ton. 20 lead changes, that’s incredible. 10 ties. It just felt like it was weirdly comfortable out there.”

UR’s next game is against No. 4 Fordham University, at 1:30 p.m. Mar. 3. The last time UR played Fordham on Jan. 25, the Spiders lost 68-59. 

“I think this team’s a lot different in the last week and a half, two weeks,” Rousell said, speaking of his players. “The confidence, the joy that they’re playing with. I can’t even think about the fact that I’d be standing up here saying that this might be over with this group ‘cause they got this thing rolling right now,” Rousell said. 

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