Women’s hoops nearing A-10 tournament

Freshman guard Isis Thorpe (right) sets up the offense during VCU’s 74-57 win against St. Bonaventure University at the Siegel Center on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Photo by Brooke Marsh.

Kris Mason
Contributing Writer

The VCU’s women’s basketball team improved its record to 20-7 on the season after beating St. Bonaventure University 74-57 on Feb. 19. But with just one game remaining on the schedule, head coach Marlene Stollings’ team is beginning to prepare for the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Lady Rams got off to a tremendous start in the season’s opening months, starting out with a 12-1 non-conference record. However, the team struggled in conference play and is in the middle of the pack in a competitive A-10 conference.

Now, with Wednesday’s matchup against the University of Richmond serving as the season’s final game, VCU hopes to regain its winning ways heading into postseason play.

The Lady Rams run a high scoring, up-tempo offense known by the moniker “Fury.” They average 77.6 points per game, which is the second-highest average in the A-10. However, they also allow 67 PPG, the fifth-most PPG in the A-10.

Much of the success VCU has achieved this year is thanks to 6-foot senior Robyn Parks. She averages 21.9 PPG and 9.3 rebounds per game, both of which lead the conference. She has scored at least 11 points in 56 straight games and stands in fifth place on VCU’s single-season assists list.

Despite the impressive statistics, Parks may be feeling the effects of the long season as witnessed by the gradual decline of her monthly scoring average. She averaged 25.7 PPG in December, 22.6 PPG in January and 18.2 PPG in February.

Parks’ phenomenal season has not always translated into victories for VCU. The Lady Rams are in seventh place in the A-10 with a 8-6 conference record.

Meanwhile, Dayton University is running away with league’s regular season title. The Flyers hold an 11-1 A-10 record.

There is a four-way tie for second place with four teams that have identical 9-4 conference records. Duquesne University is a half-game ahead of VCU with an 8-5 mark in the A-10.

The Lady Rams’ final home game of the season was this past Saturday when they hosted Saint  Louis University. Results for that contest were not final as of press time.

VCU’s final game against U.R. on Wednesday is a rematch of a nailbiting one-point Lady Rams victory on Feb. 8.

Following that game the Rams will take part in the A-10 Women’s Basketball Championship. The event will take place at the Richmond Coliseum from March 5-9. The top four teams receive a first-round bye in the tournament. The Lady Rams are unlikely to earn such a designation, which means they will need to win four games in four days in order to capture the league’s tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The A-10 is only projected to get one at-large bid, according to ESPN.com women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme, which means VCU must go deep in the A-10 tournament to have any shot at the NCAA tournament.

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