UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond battled No. 17/15 Dayton to the end but fell, 72-64, Sunday afternoon at the Robins Center.
Beating A-10 opponents by an average of 32.5 ppg, the Spiders gave Dayton its toughest challenge yet.
Richmond caused a game-high 19 Dayton turnovers, while grabbing 12 steals. Spearheading the Spider defense was redshirt senior Sam Bilney, who had a career-high six steals and a season-best six assists. Bilney disrupted the Flyer posts, causing turnovers and grabbing four rebounds and scoring five points in 30 minutes of play.
In the first frame, Richmond played well defensively, causing nine Dayton turnovers while grabbing seven steals. Rachael Bilney led Richmond with nine points at the break, shooting 3-for-5 from long range. Becca Wann also had nine points and four rebounds off the bench.
Dayton hit 19-of-35 (54.3%) of its shots to take a 43-35 lead into halftime. The Flyers boosted their lead to the largest of the game at 51-38 with 15:09 remaining. Richmond stuck around and whittled the lead to 61-54 after two Kristina King free-throws at the 4:13 mark.
Dayton kept its lead around double-digits for the next few minutes until Richmond made the game interesting down the stretch. Richmond scored five quick points off a Becca Wann steal and layup and a Rachael Bilney banked-in three to get to within 69-62 with 52 seconds left.
But Dayton hit key free-throws in the last minute to seal the win. Olivia Applewhite led Dayton with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Three Spiders scored in double-figures, led by Kristina King and Wann's 15 points. Wann recorded a team-high 11 rebounds. Bilney added 14 points, hitting four threes. King tied Sam Bilney for a team-high six assists.
The Spiders nailed 9-of-19 (47.4%) shots from long-range and got 24 points from their bench. Richmond committed only 14 turnovers, a feat considering Dayton opponents are averaging over 23 a game.
Richmond fell to 12-11, 2-5 overall, while No. 17 Dayton improved to 19-1, 7-0 overall.
The Spiders resume action at GW Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Richmond dropped its fourth-straight to Dayton, while falling 10-7 in the series...Richmond has dropped two close contests to ranked opponents in the Robins Center this year, falling to #24 Miami by six points, #17 Dayton by eight...Wann's double-double was the fourth for her this season, nine of her career.