In the four-team, two-game UTSA Thanksgiving Classic, Women’s Basketball finished with a dominant 64-36 win against Weber State and a heartbreaking 63-61 loss to IUPUI.
After VCU grabbed the largest lead of the contest at 17-7 in the first quarter, the game remained tight until the fourth quarter. The Rams held the lead for eight minutes in the fourth until Jaguars freshman forward Macee Williams made a layup, putting IUPUI up 53-52 with less than two minutes left in the game.
Rams junior guard Nyra Williams attempted a layup that would have given the Black and Gold a late lead, but missed. Intentional fouling began for VCU at the 30-second mark after a layup from sophomore guard Tera Reed brought the Rams within two.
Junior center Danielle Hammond — the backup to sophomore center Sofya Pashigoreva — lost a turnover at a key point, allowing the Jaguars to maintain their lead in the final seconds. An IUPUI foul on a 3-point jumper by Reed brought the Rams back within three with only seven seconds to go.
Intentional fouling and another Reed layup brought the game back within one possession but IUPUI was able to run the clock out.
Despite shooting nearly 50 percent from the paint, VCU fell short to IUPUI. The Rams struggled from 3-point range where they shot 1-7, while the Jaguars shot 10-21 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore forward Sydnei Archie and Reed combined for 29 points. Pashigoreva led the team with nine rebounds in 19 minutes.
The game remained close for the entire 40 minutes, featuring 10 lead changes — VCU’s last lead was at 52-51 with a minute left.
Jaguars junior guard Holly Hoopingarner led her team with 23 points on 75 percent shooting from the field.
Sophomore guard Taya Robinson and redshirt-freshman guard Madison Hattix-Covington scored six and three points respectively, both below their season averages.
VCU began the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic in a match against the Weber State Wildcats. The Rams routed the Wildcats in a 64-36 win.
Reed dominated for the Rams with 20 points on 53 percent shooting. With the large VCU lead, every Ram got playing time.
VCU went on a 4-0 run right off the tip and never let up on the Wildcats. The Rams had twice or more of the opposing score for a majority of the game.
Weber State went stagnant at the end of the third quarter and into the final quarter as the Wildcats only made a couple jump shots. Senior guard Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman and sophomore forward Kayla Watkins combined for 22 of the Wildcat’s points.
Women’s Basketball heads back to Richmond to face UNC-Wilmington Nov. 28.
Daniel Puryear Contributing Writer
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