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Incredible Spider Comeback Falls Just Short at Saint Louis, 73-66
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 02/18/2017
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SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – The University of Richmond women’s basketball team (13-15, 7-8 A-10) could have folded when trailing by 13 in the fourth quarter at Saint Louis (22-6, 12-3 A-10) but instead battled back to within three in an epic comeback that ultimately fell just short, 73-66.

The story of the game was how well the Spiders shot the ball, matching a season best effort by shooting 46 percent from the floor. Leading that charge was Lauren Tolson who came off the bench to score a season-high 20 points in just her second game back after missing seven-straight due to a knee injury. She now rests just six points shy of becoming the 23rd member of the Richmond 1,000 point club.

Janelle Hubbard had a stellar game of her own, dropping in 19 points on 8-15 shooting while dropping in just one three ball. Kylie Murphree scored five points, grabbed three rebounds and matched a career-high with nine assists. Hinds-Clarke and Parson each added eight points while Karleigh Wike chipped in seven rebounds.

The pace was fast early on and the shots were falling. Hubbard kicked off the scoring with, no surprise, a jumper in the lane then after a Saint Louis answer canned her first three ball of the contest which sparked a 7-0 Richmond run to jump out to a 9-2 lead by the 6:42 mark. SLU answered the run with a triple but Tolson checked in and responded with a made triple on her first attempt of the game to restore the seven-point lead. After some back-and-forth, the Billikens managed to score the last points of the quarter but Richmond held a 16-12 advantage.

With the frenetic pace carrying over into the second quarter, the usually calculated Spiders did their best to keep pace but Saint Louis had its first lead, 19-18, by the 8:31 mark. Hubbard answered with a driving layup to reclaim the lead for UR and after trading for two possession the Billikens took the lead back for good in the first half with a three ball a the 6:56 mark.

The Spiders fell behind by as many as eight before Tolson knocked in her second three ball of the afternoon but the home side was unfazed, pushing the lead back out to nine with 1:26 left. Parson snaked he way inside and scored an acrobatic layup, drawing a foul in the process at 1:09. She made the free throw to leave Saint Louis with a 34-28 lead at the half. 

The Spiders shot a blistering, 42 percent in the first half but only managed to hold the home side to 38 percent. The Billikens hit two more threes (5-3) to create the difference. Hubbard dropped in nine points in the first half while Tolson came off the bench to score eight. Parson scored five to go with five boards and three others contributed a pair.

Saint Louis immediately jumped out to a 13-point lead with a 9-2 run to start the quarter. Hinds-Clarke halted the run, momentarily, and the Spiders were able to cut the deficit down to single digits on multiple occasions, even getting it down to six at the 5:32 mark. But SLU had answers all over the place. The deficit floated around double-digits for most of the later half of the third until a quick five-point burst from Tolson at the end of the quarter helped to make it a nine-point game heading to the fourth.

Hubbard began the fourth with a patented, fading 15-footer but from there it was a Billiken 6-0 run that created a gap that Richmond battled the rest of the way. Fortunately, the Spiders had plenty of fight left in them. Hinds-Clarke scored inside to make it an 11-point game with 6:41 left and the comeback was on. Murphree canned her only triple of the game, Hinds-Clarke hit a pair of free throws and Tolson buried a layup through contact and just like that it was a four-point game with 4:19 to go.

Saint Louis answered out of a timeout with a jumper but Karleigh Wike was there to clean up with her lone basket of the game to keep the deficit at four. Some trading ensued until Parson broke it up with a long three ball from the left win to make it just a three-point game with 1:14 to play. But that was as close as the Spiders would come in this one, as Saint Louis was able to hold off the charge down the stretch to collect a seven-point win.

The Spiders will conclude the 2016-17 season by welcoming George Washington to the Robins Center on Wednesday (Feb. 22) for a 7 p.m. tip. The Spiders will celebrate the careers of Janelle Hubbard, Dazia Hall and Lauren Tolson during a special ceremony before the game so be sure to arrive early. 


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