The University of Richmond women’s basketball team lost to the University of Massachusetts 80-60 in the semifinals round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament March 4.
After winning five of their last six regular season games and defeating Dayton University and Fordham University in the A-10 Tournament, the Spiders were unable to keep their postseason push alive, losing to the Minutewomen, who carry the No. 1 seed in the tournament with the best record in the conference.
The Spiders and Minutewomen were scoreless until the 7:39 mark when junior forward Addie Budnik hit a layup for the first score of the game. Despite Budnik taking the first score of the game, UMass went on a 17-7 run to finish out the first quarter.
Heading into the second quarter down 10 points, the Spiders went on a 10-0 run with 8:22 to go in the first half, taking their first lead since early in the first quarter. UR shot 61.54% from the field and 60% from the arc in the quarter to decrease the deficit to two, 32-30, as halftime approached.
In the third quarter, the Minutewomen pulled ahead and kept the lead throughout the quarter. UMass outscored the Spiders 23-12 and turned a two-point lead at the half into a 13-point lead heading into the final quarter of regulation.
In the second half, the Spiders struggled shooting, going 0 for 9 from 3-point range..
The fourth quarter saw UMass extend their lead to as many as 20 points as the final buzzer sounded. With 3:41, UR had cut the Minutewomen’s lead to three, but UMass’s strong shooting proved too much for the Spiders down the stretch.
“There’s never a good way to bow out of the tournament,” UR head coach Aaron Rousell said in a postgame press conference. “I mean I think we can take some solace in the fact that obviously we came a long way as a program.”
In the game, UMass scored 14 second chance points compared to UR’s four. UMass also outrebounded the Spiders, grabbing 35 rebounds as opposed to 25 by UR.
“I’d like to think that we’re not done with the season,” Rousell said. “Hopefully there’s another few games, another tournament out there for us. We’ll hope for that, but obviously this was a tough loss.”
On the day, Budnik led the Spiders with 25 points. First-year Rachel Ullstrom went 2 of 4 from 3-point range and tallied 10 points off the bench.
Looking back on the season, the Spiders totaled 20 wins and made an appearance in the A-10 Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2009. Last year, UR lost 66-62 in the second round of the tournament against Davidson College.
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In its history, UR has made the NCAA Tournament three times. The last time was in 2005, when the Spiders went 24-8 on the year and lost to Florida State University in the first round.
“Experience is irreplaceable, so having this and feeling it, I mean it sucks.” Budnik said after the game. “So, no one’s gonna wanna feel like this next year so we’re gonna come back stronger, work on the things we need to work on and you’ll see us next year, I promise.”
Contact sports editor Jimmy James at email@example.com.
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