UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va.-- Richmond hosts Longwood in its season opener Friday at 4 p.m. at the Robins Center.
Back Four More
Richmond returns four starters from last year's 23-9 squad in Rachael Bilney, Keri Soppe, Liz Brown and Genevieve Okoro. The 23 wins was Richmond's most since the 2008-09 season, and its nine losses were the program's fewest since 2004-05. Richmond recorded a 9-5 record in A-10 play and garnered a bye in the A-10 Tournament for the third time in four seasons. The Spiders are coming off four-straight postseason appearances and 20 or more wins in a season for three of the last four years. Bilney and Okoro return as Richmond's top threats at 11.5 and 10.9 ppg, respectively. Bilney shot a blistering 42 percent from long range last season (60-142), while Okoro led the team with nine double-doubles and 7.3 rebounds per game. Brown returns at center as she was tabbed to last year's All-Rookie team and corralled a personal-best 15 rebounds in a win over Boston University last November.
Spiders Tabbed To Finish Second In A-10 Poll
Richmond was selected to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in a vote conducted by the league's head coaches Wednesday. Richmond (23-9/9-5) returns four starters from last year's 23-9 squad, including two of its top three scorers in redshirt senior Rachael Bilney (11.5 ppg) and junior Genevieve Okoro (10.9 ppg). Okoro was selected to the preseason second team, while Bilney and two-sport athlete Becca Wann were selected to the third team. Wann proved to be an integral part of Richmond's success last season, scoring 9.0 ppg and sinking a team-leading 52 percent (111-213) of her shots from the field. Wann received Most Improved Player of the Year for her off-the-bench efforts.
Richmond finished its 2011-12 season with a 23-9 record, marking the third time in four seasons the Spiders posted 20 or more wins in a season. The 23 wins was the most since the 2008-09 season. The nine losses were Richmond's fewest since 2005. The Spiders also earned their fourth-straight WNIT berth.
The Lancers were chosen to finish 11th in the 2012-13 Big South Conference in a vote conducted by the league's head coaches. Longwood returns the talents of four of its staters including guards Crystal Smith, Chelsea Coward, Erin Neal and Mieke Elkington. Sophomore Rianna Frazier rounds out the returns for Longwood. The Lancers welcome nine newcomers to this year's lineup. Longwood finished its 2011-12 season with a 7-22 mark. Richmond took last year's meeting, 72-59, last February in Farmville. Richmond holds a 22-12 all-time advantage over the Lancers. Head coach Bill Reinson begins his third year at the helm of Longwood.
Richmond hosts No. 23/24 Miami (Fla.) Monday night at the Robins Center at 7 p.m.