March 17, 2011
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. -
Three Spiders scored in double figures but UNC-Wilmington overcame a slow start to down Richmond, 63-54, in the WNIT first round at the Robins Center.
Both teams had plenty of rust from the extended time off, as neither team scored for the game's first three minutes. Soon enough, Richmond would find its rhythm, and spurt out to a 10-0 lead with 14:51 remaining. UNC-W would rally with a 21-8 run to take its first lead at 21-18 with 3:19 left. The score switched hands twice before Brittani Shells' jumper with four seconds left gave Richmond the 28-26 edge at the break.
Both teams struggled with turnovers, as Richmond had 18 in the first half and committed a season-high 31 for the game. The Seahawks were no better as they committed 14 mistakes of their own and ended with 23 turnovers.
UNC-W scored the second half's first bucket to knot the game at 28-all, then went 10-4 run to take the lead at 38-32 with 15:09 left. Richmond would cut the deficit to 41-38 with 10:14 left, but the Seahawks responded with six unanswered points to push its lead to the largest of the game at 46-38. Richmond would cut it the deficit to five twice, but could not overcome the response scores by UNC-W.
Three Spiders posted double figures, with Crystal Goring leading the pack with 17 points. Goring rounded out her impressive line with seven boards, three assists and four steals. The Morvant, Trinidad native ended her stellar senior season with 799 career points and 757 rebounds, good for seventh all-time at Richmond. Goring also posted 125 career blocks, fourth all-time at Richmond.
Shells ended with 11 tallies, four assists and five steals. Shells' memorable four-year run ended with 2,042 career points, all-time steals leader at 300 swipes, second in field goals (816), fourth in three pointers (180) and seventh in assists (334). Shells was a three-time All Conference first team and defensive team selection and led the A-10 in scoring the past two seasons.
Abby Oliver chipped in with 11 points and two steals. Oliver was second on the team with 14.0 ppg this season and is only 38 points shy of her 1,000th point. Genevieve Okoro made her first start of the season and had seven points and seven boards.
Richmond ended its 2011 season with its third-straight postseason appearance and earned a bye in the A-10 tournament for the second time in three seasons. Richmond ended its run with an 18-12 record, its third straight year with 18 or more victories.