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Spiders Produce Great Shooting Effort but VCU Moves On, 72-64
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 02/26/2017
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RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Richmond women’s basketball team (13-17) played arguably its best game of the season in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament on Sunday afternoon but so goes the nature of a rivalry; VCU (16-14) was able to come away with a, 72-64, victory at the Siegel Center, ending the 2016-17 Spider campaign.

The Spiders shot the ball better on Sunday than they had in any game this season. They shot north of 40 percent in three of four quarters including a 66.7 percent clip in the fourth and even more staggering 81.8 percent in the first but it wasn’t enough in the end as VCU was able to best the Spiders in other ways to steal the victory.

Micaela Parson scored a game-high 18 points and continued her trend of filling up the stat sheet. The junior added five rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes of action. Parson closes the season with 819 points in her career, putting her in great position to become the 24th member of the 1,000-point club next season.

Janelle Hubbard and Lauren Tolson both reached double-figures in their final games. Hubbard tossed in 16 points and Tolson added 12 to go with three boards and an assist.

The difference in the ball game came in a 36-18 deficit in points in the paint and more importantly a 15-2 deficit in second chance points. VCU managed to collect 17 offensive rebounds against Richmond’s seven to create opportunities that offset the hot-shooting Spiders.

Richmond missed its first two shots in the first quarter but that turned out to be just the calm before the storm. Parson got the scoring started with a 15-foot jumper that found its mark. VCU answered with a free throw and Hubbard collected her first points in response. Hinds-Clarke then tossed in a pair of free throws before Hubbard came off a screen moving right and buried her second-straight from the same spot. The senior made each of her first four; field goal attempts to score a team-high nine in the first quarter and help build a 19-11 lead early on.

VCU began to close the gap a bit but Tolson stepped into a long triple as the clock was winding down to make it a seven-point game again. VCU answered with a three ball in its final possession to leave the tally, 22-18, after one. The Spiders shot a scorching 82 percent in that opening frame, by far its best first quarter of the season.

The scoring was sparse early on in the second; VCU scored on its first possession and neither team scored again until Wiseman buried her first triple of the game at the 6:18 mark. The home side tied the score and took its first lead, 27-25, with 3:12 left in the half but Richmond had a response. Murphree fired up a long three from the wing that found its mark then it was Hudalla making it back-to-back long balls to quickly push the Spider lead back up to four. The two sides traded from there and The Spider took a three-point lead into the locker room.

Richmond shot 60.9 percent in the first half, easily its best performance in the first half of any game this season. The Rams, however, managed to keep pace by rebounding and capitalizing on seven, second chance points and nine, points off turnovers. The Spiders registered zeros in both of those columns. Hubbard paced the scoring with 11, first half points as one of six Spiders to find their way into the scoring column.

VCU came out of the locker room hot, quickly mounted a 4-0 run to take the lead. Richmond answered but the Rams back with a three ball that put the Spiders in a two-point deficit. It was basket trading each possession from there. Amy Duggan drove the lane and threw up a running sky-hook that found its mark to tie the game at 43 with 3:07 to play in the quarter. The Rams then closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to leave the Spiders in a, 49-43, hole to start the fourth.

Richmond allowed a long triple to begin the fourth quarter, giving the home side its largest lead of the game but Wiseman had an answer with a triple on the other end. VCU pushed the deficit back to eight but a Parson collected a turnover and scored the run-out with 7:57 to go in the game.

Janelle Hubbard, one of the greatest scorers in program history, took over from here. She scored back-to-back buckets sandwiched around a Parson free throws to cut the deficit to three by the 4:02 media timeout. VCU scored out of the timeout but Tolson answered with a long three ball from the left wing that made it a two-point game with 3:11 to go.  Parson then made a free throw to cut it to one and added a layup on the next possession to keep it at a one-point deficit after VCU answered on the other end. But an offensive rebound and put back for VCU on the next trip essentially spelled the beginning of the end in this one.

Hubbard made one of two free throws that could have cut the lead to just one with 54 seconds to play but instead VCU had a two-point advantage as the clock dipped below 30 seconds. As the shot clock buzzer sounded Keira Robinson canned a long three ball to put this one away. VCU made free throws down the stretch to seal the eight-point victory. 

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