UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond used a pivotal second-half run to down Longwood, 71-61, in its season opener Friday at the Robins Center.
The Spiders improved to 7-1 in season openers under head coach Michael Shafer and recorded their fifth consecutive season-opening win. Richmond moved to 23-12 in the series against the Lancers.
After a momentum-shifting basket by Kristina King gave Richmond the 35-34 lead at the break, the Spiders used the opening minutes of the second frame to bolster their lead.
After a Raven Williams layup got Longwood to within 39-38 with 16:39 left in the game, Richmond used steals and quick buckets to piece together an 18-0 run to put the game out of reach at 59-38 with 10:23 remaining.
Longwood would get to within a 66-59 deficit but could not overcome the Spiders.
Rachael Bilney led Richmond with 17 points off 7-of-13 shooting from the field, while Genevieve Okoro registered her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 boards. Okoro also added four assists. Kristina King added a career-best 16 points, five assists and was a pristine 8-of-8 from the line. Becca Wann added nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Richmond dished 18 assists, with four players having three assists or more. The Spiders also added 12 steals.
The Spiders continue home action with No. 23/24 Miami (Fla.) Monday night at the Robins Center. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.