The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

Women’s Basketball team falls to Rhode Island in second round of WNIT

<p>Women's basketball team during game against Rhode Island on March 20. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.&nbsp;</p>

Women's basketball team during game against Rhode Island on March 20. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics. 

The University of Richmond women’s basketball team lost to the University of Rhode Island 74-64 in the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) March 20.

The Spiders entered the game after a dominant win against the University of Pennsylvania 72-52, having won seven of their last eight games. Their opponent, the Rhode Island Rams, defeated Boston University in the previous round 46-40, making it their first postseason win in program history.

The two teams had played previously Jan 18, where the Rams shot 34% from beyond the arc and bested the Spiders 75-49.

The Rams stretched out to a lead early by moving the ball perfectly and consistently while looking for the best possible shot. Additionally, the Rams’ offensive rebounding provided numerous second-chance points crucial to their success throughout the game.

Junior forward Addie Budnik kept the score close in the first half, earning 10 of the Spider’s 21 points. Unfortunately, a three-minute scoring drought midway through the second quarter, where the Rams made three 3-point shots in a row, devastated the Spider’s chances. Going into halftime, Rhode Island held a 32-23 lead, shooting 43% from three.

The second half played out the same. Despite Budnik’s 20 points and first-year forward Maggie Doogan’s 11 points, the Spiders were outmatched offensively.

Spider’s fourth-year head coach Aaron Roussell reflected on what contributed to the loss.

“I thought we did some things really, really well. We had some really good defensive possessions that, unfortunately, we just didn’t finish with some rebounds. You don’t want to be -20 on boards,” Roussell said. “The killer for us was going -21 points from the arc. For them to get 13 threes and for us to only get six. Usually, when that happens, that’s normally not a great sign for us.”

Roussell was also happy with how the season progressed for his team and hopeful about the program’s future.

“It is a very, very positive season,” Rousell said. “For us to have a couple wins in the A10 tournament for the first time in a long time,” “for us to get to the second round of the WNIT with a lot of promising players coming back, I think really bodes well for our future. But you’re also thankful and sad for the players who won’t be here.”

Contact sports writer Jimmy Conley at james.conley@richmond.edu. 

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