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Rams Sweep Spiders to Advance
While hanging on to the remnants of a lead, Beth O’Boyle was probably remembering back to all their squandered leads during this trying campaign. With 27 seconds left and a two-point lead, her senior leader made sure she gave her team one last push to send them into the quarterfinals. Keira Robinson stepped back beyond the three-point line and pulled the trigger on a game breaking three pointer. Robinson gathered herself and let go of that shot with every ounce of confidence in her being. With that made basket VCU took a five-point lead and forced UR into a couple of desperate jumpers. Final free throws from Pegram, Robinson and Goodhope slammed the door on the Spiders season. In what was this groups final “home game” of the season the Rams completed a season sweep of their rivals with a 72-64 win.
Early Lead for the Opposition
Richmond opened the game with alarming effectiveness with their jumpers. The first quarter saw them make 9 of 11 from the field and 2 of 3 from range. They ended the quarter by making their last 9 shots. The only way O’Boyle’s group could get stops was by turning their rivals over. They used 7 first half turnovers to stay in range. VCU needed a late 3 from GG Goodhope to trim UR’s lead to 5 before the first quarter expired.
Rams Keep Pace
The Spiders cooled off from inside in the second quarter but increased their output from the perimeter making 3 of 4 from range. They were still scoring well but they left enough room for VCU to keep pace. The Rams stayed with the Spiders by owning the paint. Goodhope led her team in scoring at half with 11 points. Most of her damage was done in the lane. Forwards Bria Gibson and Curteeona Brelove made their presence felt in the post, combining for 9 points and 5 rebounds at the half. Richmond held a 35-32 lead at the break.
Hot Shots & Turnovers
The Rams played about as well in the first half as O’Boyle could have hoped. Richmond just happened to have an unusually great day of shooting. They made 60 percent of their shots including 5-7 from deep. Every Richmond 3 came from a different player. With only two players attempting more than two. To offset their hot shooting, UR turned the ball over 7 times compared to VCU’s 2. The Rams converted those 7 TO’s into 9 points.
Second Chance Impacts
VCU and Richmond exchanged leads in the second half, with no team able to hold on to a lead for more than a few possessions. Late in the third quarter, Brelove gave the Rams a lead from the free throw line and the Rams would not relinquish it again. Gibson and Brelove dominated down the stretch. They helped erase any mistakes made by their teammates, with rebounds and put backs. The pair combined for 17 and 12. The Spiders had no answers for those two.
VCU got clutch performances from their guards throughout the contest. Goodhope never let her team fall too far behind with a double digit first half. Robinson and Thorpe took over in the second half. Robinson had 13 in the second and Thorpe had 9 points.
Strong Offensive Production
Both teams had great shooting days. Richmond shot 54% and VCU shot 43%. The Rams outrebounded their opponent 34 to 29. They also committed only 6 turnovers compared to UR’s 10. VCU finished with 36 points in the paint, doubling up UR’s paint production.
On to the Quarterfinals!
The victory earned the team a trip to the Coliseum, where they will meet 1 seeded Dayton on Friday. They will meet in the first contest of the day. Tip-off is set for 11AM.