For the second game in a row, women’s basketball held the lead in the second quarter. But a free throw and a triple from Richmond junior guard Claire Holt spurred a 10-0 run, and GW watched its lead and the game slip away Friday.
The Spiders (9-4, 6-2 A-10) outscored the Colonials (4-11, 1-8 A-10) in the final three quarters to nab a 60–49 win. GW has now dropped four straight games and sits in 13th place in the Atlantic 10.
Both offenses were sloppy – GW committed 21 turnovers and the Spiders coughed it up 25 times. Despite the loss of possessions, Richmond was efficient with its shooting, knocking down 44.4 percent of its shots compared to GW’s 30 percent.
“The turnovers really hurt us and that was getting spread around with everybody on our team,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. “It was nice that we were only down four at the half after having so many turnovers but still disappointed that we played so sloppy in the first half because we need those cushions.”
GW again struggled from long range, draining two of its 15 attempts from downtown, which allowed the Spiders to put its resources into double or triple-teaming freshman center Ali Brigham. Brigham averages 11.5 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting to lead the Colonials, but she scored just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting Friday.
Junior guard Maddie Loder was the only Colonial in double figures with 13 points. Graduate student guard Jasmine Whitney aided the defensive effort with a floor-leading seven steals and six assists.
“She really puts it all on the line for us and just gives everything that she has,” Loder said. “We’re all trying to be like Jasmine. If we could all be a little bit more like Jasmine, I’m not sure we would be in this position, but it’s great to have her here.”
Richmond saw offensive contributions across the board. Eight different players scored against the Colonials, and three Spiders notched double-digit efforts. Freshman forward Addie Budnik led the way with 13 points, Holt contributed 11 points and junior guard Kate Klimkiewicz added 10 points. Sophomore forward Elaina Chapman led all players with 11 rebounds.
Loder opened the scoring by converting an and-one from beyond the arc for a quick 4–0 Colonial lead. After a quick 10–3 Richmond run, Loder was able to tie the game at 10 thanks to another and-one following a layup with less than five minutes remaining.
Just more than a minute later, freshman forward Caranda Perea found Brigham under the rim for her first points of the night and a 12–10 GW lead. Klimkiewicz tied the game with less than a minute remaining, but Perea hit nothing but net on a midrange jumper to edge the Colonials back in front 14–12 heading into the second quarter.
After Brigham converted a layup that extended GW’s lead to four points early in the second frame, the Spiders kicked into high gear. Richmond tacked on unanswered 10 points while the Colonials did not score for a nearly six-minute long stretch.
Loder and redshirt junior forward Neila Luma scored back-to-back buckets to stop the drought and reduce Richmond’s lead to 22–20, but a triple from Holt with two minutes remaining helped give the Spiders a 27–23 advantage at the half.
The Colonials ended the first half shooting 27.3 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from deep, while Richmond hit 37.5 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively.
The initial stages of the third quarter brought further success for the Spiders. A layup from Chapman midway through the frame gave Richmond a 39–29 lead, its largest of the game so far.
After Chapman’s bucket, the Colonials cobbled together a 7–2 run, highlighted by a triple from freshman guard Aurea Gingras, to trail 41–36 going into the final frame. Despite staying within striking distance of Richmond after the third quarter, the Colonials could not keep up as the game wore on and fatigue set in.
“We need to be able to be up so that when we get tired we can give up a few buckets and still be OK,” Rizzotti said. “We can’t keep sitting there. It’s like every game – it’s like a six, eight-point lead – and we fight to get it to five, and then they hit a big bucket, and it’s back to seven.”
A pair of free throws from Whitney made it a one-possession game, 47–44, with less than six minutes left to play. But that would be the closest the Colonials would get to a comeback.
The Spiders were able to answer every GW bucket. Budnik’s six points in the final five minutes were more than GW scored as a team, and Richmond sank its late free throws to secure the victory.
Loder said the team’s goal is to go 7-1 over its next eight games, and the team will “keep fighting” for the outcome.
“This is a team that doesn’t give up and I know that our record may not show how good we are, but I can promise you that we’re not going to give up,” Loder said. “We’re not just going to keel over and die because of our record.”
The Colonials will host VCU in their next matchup Monday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.