The women’s basketball team dropped their third straight contest and four out of the last five to fall to 14-10 on the season and one game below .500 in conference play, going 5-6.
A strong start by the Rams against Duquesne University on Feb. 7 saw the team open the game on a 7-0 run. Duquesne would rally back and eventually respond with a 10-0 run later in the half and an 8-0 run to close the half. Coming out the break, trailing 39-25, the Rams were still unable to score consistent baskets to close the scoring gap. After Duquesne only allowed the Rams to score nine points in 10 minutes, the Dukes routed the Rams to a final score of 83-47.
After the game, head coach Beth O’Boyle complimented Duquesne’s play.
“Obviously it was a really tough day for us,” O’Boyle said. “I thought Duquesne did a great job. They went on a big stretch where they executed at a high level, and we were just struggling to make some baskets. They were pushing and it was hard for us to crawl back in.”
Sophomore guard Isis Thorpe finished the game with 11 points, leading the Rams in scoring. Junior forward Adaeze Alaeze added nine points and 13 rebounds. Redshirt junior Melanie Royster moved in fifth place on the all-time blocks list at 92.
The Rams were looking to respond to the Dukes after suffering their second-straight loss against the University of Richmond on Wednesday, Feb. 4. VCU traveled west on I-64 to take on their cross-town rivals, but fell to the Spiders 67-63, leaving the Rams 14-9 overall and 5-5 in Atlantic 10 play.
The Rams shot cold from the floor, as they were only able to connect for 20 of their 62 shots. Despite poor shooting, VCU out-rebounded the Spiders 45-42, also forcing 21 turnovers.
The second half was close throughout, as the Spiders looked to close the gap from its 33-28 halftime deficit. The Rams fought hard, but left the Robins Center defeated.
“Honestly it was just a great team effort by our team, I know we didn’t come out with a win on the scoreboard, but it was an incredible team effort all the way through for 40 minutes,” O’Boyle said. “I’m really proud of our effort, and if we play like that going into the Atlantic 10 tournament, we will be in a good place.”
For VCU, Thorpe and Alaeze lead VCU in scoring with 15 points apiece. Sophomore Ashlee Mitchell also provided a spark for the Rams. In just her second start of the season, the Bristol, Tennessee native grabbed nine rebounds to go along with four steals. Royster lead the Rams with 15 rebounds. This was the 71st matchup between Richmond and VCU; Richmond gained a one-win lead, as the all time series record is 36-35.
The Rams finish their three-game road trip against George Mason University on Saturday, Feb. 14 before returning home to battle the University of Massachusetts on Sunday, Feb. 22.
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