VCU Women’s Basketball welcomed an old friend to Siegel Center in Richmond Thursday night. The 76th time that the Rams and Spiders locked up showcased physical play led by Curteeona Belove as VCU trapped Richmond in their own webbing from inside.
A Back & Forth 1st Round
Both teams needed a few minutes to get going in the first quarter. VCU and Richmond struggled with turnovers and shots not connecting in the opening minutes. Curteeona Brelove and Keira Robinson were able to spark VCU’s offense on back to back And-1 opportunities for a pair of three-point plays.
Richmond was able to answer back thanks to Jaide Hinds-Clarke and Lauren Tolson. The lead went back and forth between VCU and Richmond as both teams started to hit their stride offensively. Turnovers and bad shooting became a trend for Richmond once again during a scoreless four-minute towards the end. Isis Thorpe was able to close out the first quarter with 6 bench points as VCU took an 18-14 lead.
Go Hard In The Paint
The 2nd quarter showcased more Black & Gold dominance. Bria Gibson collected an easy basket down inside forcing Richmond to burn a timeout early. Tolson was able to answer back for the Spiders from downtown as Richmond drew level. GG Goodhope was able to submit the Spiders with 5 quick points while VCU as a team forced 8 Richmond turnovers defensively.
Inside the paint is where VCU did damage to the Spiders. The Rams continued crashing the paint for layups while collecting rebounds. VCU outscored Richmond 16-4 from inside and collected 22 total rebounds in the first half of play. Brelove led the Black & Gold paint force with 8 points and 5 rebounds after 14 minutes of action.
VCU was able to hold Richmond scoreless once again for nearly three minutes. The Rams were able to hold the Spider to 35% shooting from the field. As the halftime buzzer sounded, VCU entered the locker room with a 33-27 lead over their crosstown rival.
Spiders With a Vengeance
There was a more aggressive team of Spiders as the 2nd half got underway. Richmond was able to flip the turnover script as VCU struggled with possession of the ball. During that process, Ragan Wiseman rallied Richmond into the lead. VCU was a little off in the third quarter on both sides of the basketball and quickly looked to get back on track.
Hinds-Clarke was able to do damage at the rim but VCU was able to slow her down with trips to the free throw line. At the line, Hinds-Clarke went 2-of-6 which gave VCU some breathing room and the opportunity to strike back.
After a scoreless three minutes, VCU was back in business. Isis Thorpe once again knocked the ball from downtown while Goodhope and Robinson continued driving the rock inside. Mooriah Rowser arrived with 5 points including a three-point play with less than a minute left in the 3rd Quarter. The Rams wrestled back the lead from Richmond to go up 45-41 into the final quarter.
A Battle Until The End
As the fourth quarter got started, war ensued. Keira Robinson led the way for the Black & Gold with a team-high 19 points and hitting 11-for-11 at the free throw line. The combo of Robinson and Roswer proved deadly on a scoring run that put the Rams up 52-47.
Lauren Tolson and Jaide Hinds-Clarke kept Richmond in the game. Tolson led the Spiders with 17 points and shot three clutch three-pointers. Hinds-Clarke collected her first collegiate double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 rebounds.
Curteeona Brelove had another good performance from the paint for VCU. 12 points and 9 rebounds for the Junior as she helped VCU outscore Richmond 26-10 inside the paint. Isis Thorpe added 13 points from the Black & Gold Bench.
There was a battle at the free throw line late in the contest where VCU was victorious shooting 78%. The final buzzer sounded inside the Siegel Center as the Rams claimed victory over Richmond 62-55 to improve to 2-1 in Atlantic 10 play. A three-game winning streak for the Rams as VCU sits at 9-7 overall.
VCU Women’s Basketball returns to action on Sunday, January 8th against Saint Louis. That game is set for a 1 PM tip-off at the Siegel Center on CBS Sports Network.
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