The University of Richmond women’s basketball team lost 72-64 on Sunday Feb 3. to conference opponent the University of Dayton, whose strong defense prevented the Spiders from making inside shots.
Dayton pressured the Spiders at the arc, forcing them to drive or look inside. Despite its efforts, the team missed many easy shots, coach Michael Schafer said.
Spider guard Kristina King was 4-4 from behind the arc, but struggled to make layups and shorter shots.
King, who shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, said that she had not gotten the calls she normally got by driving to the basket. The Flyers also knew her tendencies, allowing them to beat her defensively, she said.
King and Becca Wann were the leading scorers for the Spiders, each contributing 15 points. Wann came off the bench with intensity and penetration into the paint, freeing up shooters on the outside. Wann was also the leading rebounder for the team with 11.
The Spiders struggled on defense, and Dayton was able to find gaps, making easy layups and field goals from within the paint, which King said had been because of a lack of help-side defense on Richmond’s part.
Dayton leading scorer, Olivia Applewhite, had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Applewhite was quick and strong inside, but was also a presence outside, Shafer said.
Forward Ryann Dannelly and center Liz Brown guarded Applewhite closely at the blocks, but she was able to free herself to make several outside shots, including two threes.
Shafer said he had wanted to have two players guard her at the post, and pressure the pass, but his team couldn’t quite stop the Flyers’ main force.
Midway through the first half, the Spiders trailed Dayton by just one point, after leading three-point shooter Rachael Bilney added three treys. The Flyers heavily pressured Bilney, and she didn’t score again until later in the second half.
In the second half Bilney tried to take the ball inside more, but wasn’t able to get many shots off. She added a fourth three with 50 seconds left in the game, closing Dayton’s lead to six, but the team couldn’t overcome the deficit. Bilney finished with 14 points.
With the win, Dayton remains one of the top teams in the Atlantic-10 with a 7-0 in-conference record. The team also boasts an 18-1 record for the season.
Shafer said that knowing his players could compete with Dayton, one of the best teams in the country, he thought they could compete with anyone.
Contact reporter Avery Shackelford at email@example.com