The Collegian
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Women’s basketball cruises to 99-73 win against Liberty

<p>Senior guard Siobhan Ryan during the Dec. 16 game against Liberty University. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.</p>

Senior guard Siobhan Ryan during the Dec. 16 game against Liberty University. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

The University of Richmond Women’s Basketball team cruised to a 99-73 win at home against Liberty University, moving to 9-2 on the season. 

The Spiders were strong both defensively and offensively, overpowering Liberty. UR knocked down 17 3-pointers, shooting almost 52% from beyond the arc. 

The game started slow with both teams vying for possession of the ball; however, the tone of the game was ultimately set by the Spiders with their strong offense. 

The first quarter was balanced, with Liberty taking the early lead. However, the Spiders came back in the final two minutes when sophomore guard Rachel Ullstrom scored back-to-back baskets in the final two minutes, including a 3-pointer to bring the game to 20-17 with the final score of 22-17. 

The second quarter of the game sped up with UR increasing its lead against the Flames. Within the first minute and a half, the Spiders scored four points, bringing the game to 26-21. The Spiders went 5-for-6 on free throws for the quarter and shot 82% for the game. 

One of the most important plays of the quarter was by Spider sophomore forward Maggie Doogan, who blocked a shot attempted by Liberty and brought the ball quickly back up the court to score another basket for the Spiders. UR outscored Liberty 35-17 in the second quarter to take a halftime lead of 57-34. 

The Spiders picked up where they left off at the beginning of the third quarter when senior forward Addie Budnik scored a 3-pointer within the first 10 seconds. Within the first four minutes and 30 seconds, the Spiders padded their lead to 71-50. The third quarter ended with a 75-57 lead by the Spiders. 

The final quarter of the game was once again marked with incredible offense by the Spiders. Within the first 4 minutes, the Spiders scored 10 points which included multiple trips to the free throw line, a made 3-pointer by Ullstrom and a 3-point play by Maggie Doogan. 

However, one of the most exciting plays in the quarter was after a UR turnover near the half-court line. One of Liberty’s guards drove the lane for a seemingly uncontested layup when senior guard Kylee Lewandowski closed the gap in time to contest the shot. 

The game ended with a score of 99-73 giving the Spiders a decisive, well-deserved victory over Liberty. Every Spider player in uniform had game time minutes. 

When asked about the first quarter, UR Head Coach Aaron Roussell said that the team talked about some of the mistakes they had been making and “making this a fast-paced game.” 

Although he did not think the game started that way, the team made a “very conscious effort” to increase the pace after the first quarter where they had some turnovers. He believes that the early turnovers bothered the team, only fueling their desire to win, he said. 

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This game was incredibly important for the team with six players scoring in the double digits and 35 points scored in the second quarter, which is the highest-scoring quarter of the season. 

Senior guard Siobhan Ryan was a key starter for UR, finishing with 21 points in 28 minutes, including shooting 7-for-8 from 3-point range. 

With a current ranking of No. 6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Spiders women's basketball team is in a perfect position heading into their conference game on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9:30 PM against Michigan State University. 

Contact sports writer Danielle Isasi at danielle.isasi@richmond.edu

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