Tuesday night, the women’s basketball team outlasted the Fordham University Rams in a double overtime thriller, winning 78-77 on a game-winning shot by freshman guard Janelle Hubbard. The Spiders rebounded after dropping their first game against Fordham back in January. Hubbard and senior guard Kristina King combined for a total of 58 points.
After the game, Hubbard commented on her continual usage of the pull-up jump shot, noting that she was also playing with great confidence. She said with Olivia Healy now out indefinitely, she has stepped up her leadership and “is just doing whatever she can to help the team win.”
Early on, the Spiders played a rather sloppy first eight minutes, struggling to show any offensive prowess. They trailed 8-6 and could not connect on many opportunities. Fordham continued to play stout defense and led 18-10 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half.
But as the half progressed, the Spiders found a spark from Hubbard who hit three consecutive three-point shots and finished the half with 15 points. The Spiders would carve out a 16-4 run to finish the final seven minutes of the half and enter the locker room leading 34-24.
Coming out for the second half, the two teams went back and forth several times, until Fordham found themselves on a 15-7 run with about 12 minutes to play, but still trailed 48-44. However, University of Richmond then failed to score for six straight minutes, which kept Fordham in the game. The Rams took advantage of that and quietly tied the game up at 52 with about three and a half minutes left in regulation.
Down 61-59 with less than 15 seconds left in the game, Richmond turned to King, who knocked down the game-tying basket that would send the game to overtime.
The first overtime was also a back-and-forth fight, and with less than 30 seconds to play, the game was again tied, this time at 71. A desperate, last-second attempt by the Rams was no good, forcing a second overtime.
The Spiders fell behind 77-74 with just under two minutes to play in the second overtime and made it an even closer game with two free throws from Hubbard. On the ensuing possession, the Rams did not convert and Richmond elected for a last-second shot. With less than 10 seconds to play, Hubbard took control of the game and hit an impeccable shot over two players, notching the Spiders a 78-77 win.
Coach Michael Shafer said he believed this was the best game he had been a part of since taking the helm at Richmond, especially with the injuries the team has sustained. Furthermore, he remarked on how well the team shot the ball.
“I thought we were able to penetrate and kick a little bit tonight,” Shafer said, “and we did a good job of making the extra pass.” He credited his team on the win, but was adamant about continuing to improve and playing well when it matters most in March.
The Spiders will look for back-to-back wins when they face the 25th ranked Dayton Flyers this coming Saturday.
Contact reporter Richard Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org