Senior Rachael Bilney scored her 1,000th career point and contributed to an 81-63 win in the University of Richmond women’s basketball game against the University of Massachusetts on Sunday.
Bilney was 11 points away from reaching 1,000 before the game and scored the final two at the start of the second half against the Atlantic 10 conference opponent.
Despite being the 19th Spider in program history to reach this accomplishment, Bilney showed no reaction after she scored, and sprinted down the court to get on defense.
“The game wasn’t over,” she said. “We hadn’t won yet, and I didn’t want to relax. But it means a lot.”
Head coach Michael Shafer said Bilney might have reached the milestone quicker if she had taken more shots earlier in her career.
“We tried to get her to shoot more freshman year,” he said. “She’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever coached.”
Bilney also tied the third-place record for most three-pointers in Richmond women’s basketball history during the game, and now has 186.
Despite her reputation as a long-range shooter, Bilney scored the majority of her points against UMass closer to the basket.
Shafer said he had been helping Bilney work on attacking the goal because he believed long-range shooters needed to be able to drive in and shoot as well.
Bilney was the second-leading scorer and one of four Richmond players to score in double-digits. Kristina King led with 17, followed by Bilney with 16, Becca Wann with 15, and Yazmean Burgess with 12. It was the Spiders’ highest-scoring game of the season except for its 104 points against the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Burgess, a sophomore, was a surprise standout, and scored a season-high.
“She played aggressively and held her own on both sides of the court,” Bilney said.
Wann also played well and led the team in rebounds and assists.
“Becca [Wann] provided the spark and energy we needed,” Shafer said.
Wann led the scoring in the first half with 10 points, six of which she scored in the last four minutes.
Richmond ended the first with a comfortable lead 40-26.
Bilney said the team had won because it had shared the ball well, and she alluded to its 13 assists as proof of that.
The Spiders also guarded the Minutewomen closely, forcing 19 turnovers, and had 10 steals and six fast break opportunities.
Shafer said before this game the players had been struggling to understand what their roles were, but that they had found their niches against UMass.
With the win, Richmond extended its overall record 13-13, and its conference record 3-7.
The game was also a “pink out,” supporting breast cancer awareness. The Spiders wore pink warm-up t-shirts and pink shoelaces, and the Minutewomen wore pink socks.
The Spiders also hosted Operation Homefront Military Appreciation Day. Senior Samantha Bilney was awarded a plaque before the game for her work with military families in the area.
After the game there was an opportunity for the children of these families to get posters signed. The Bilney sisters signed posters and the backs of t-shirts for children, including for one set of twins who was excited to meet them.
Shafer said the team was hoping for a big crowd their next home game, when it plays rival Virginia Commonwealth University 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Contact reporter Avery Shackelford at email@example.com