HARTFORD, Conn. -- Richmond battled an undefeated Hartford to the end, but fell 59-54, Sunday afternoon at Chase Arena.
The Spiders fell to 1-3 on the season, while Hartford improved to 4-0, remaining undefeated at home.
"We played a tough Hartford team on the road and came up short," said head coach Michael Shafer. "We competed. Our margin of error right now is pretty small. We have to do a better job of eliminating unnecessary mistakes and turnovers as we can so we can find success. I believe this group will do that and find a way to get some good wins against a tough schedule."
Hartford maintained a 30-23 lead going into the break, but it was the Spiders who struck early to get the score to within 34-31 with 16:34 remaining.
Seasoned senior Rachael Bilney put Richmond ahead with a momentum-swinging three-pointer on the wing at the 6:31 mark to give Richmond its first lead of the half at 47-46.
From there, the lead seesawed back-and-forth until three consecutive baskets from Ruthanne Doherty put Hartford ahead 53-49. The Hawks would not relinquish the lead.
Richmond took a 14-8 lead early, spearheaded by a long-range bomb by Rachael Bilney but Hartford soon countered with 10 unanswered points to go up 20-16. The scoring spree allowed the Hawks to bolster its lead to a 30-23 advantage at the break.
Liz Brown was a marvel in the post, scoring a season-high 12 points, off 6-for-10 shooting from the field. Brown also added six rebounds and two blocks. Bilney added 11 points and three assists. Genevieve Okoro chipped in with 10 points, while utility player Becca Wann added a team-high four assists, seven points and nine rebounds.
The Spiders outrebounded the Hawks, 35-31, and shot 42 percent for the game (21-of-50) and 39 percent from long range (5-of-13). Richmond had 14 assists.
Richmond spends its Thanksgiving week in Cancun, Mexico with games against Minnesota, Witchita State and Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The Spiders tip against the Gophers of Minnesota Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.