Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Richmond, Longwood claim victories

Wednesday's results

Richmond 55, Fordham 42: In baseball when you're in a slump, it's not always a home run that snaps you out of it. Sometimes, a broken-bat blooper over the shortstop's head does the trick. That kind of describes the performance the Spiders turned in Wednesday afternoon, an off-the-end-of-the-bat effort that nevertheless snapped a three-game losing streak. Not sure if it was the noon start or the relatively empty (236 fans) Fordham gym, but the Spiders (14-8, 5-3 Atlantic 10) staggered through an opening 20 minutes marked by 32-percent shooting and a host of unforced turnovers that ended with Fordham ahead 19-18. Despite their record (10-13, 2-5), the Rams are on scholarships, too, and the longer the Spiders allowed them to hang around, the greater the chances the Richmond players might be standing around at the final buzzer wondering "What happened?" Finally, with about 13 minutes to play and the game tied at 26, the Spiders created some separation. A Brittani Shells jumper, a Shells steal and a layup and a Jumpin' Gen Okoro layup gave the Spiders a six-point advantage. Shells didn't shoot the ball great again, but she had a huge impact of this game with 7 assists and 5 steals to go with her team-high 14 points. Abby Oliver added 13 points and hit the Spiders' only 3-pointer, and Crystal Goring  has 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. They're going to need a much better performance Saturday against St. Bonaventure. But after three straight losses, all they needed Wednesday was a win. No, it wasn't pretty, but slump-busters often aren't.

Longwood 77, Cal State-Bakersfield 65: Chelsea Coward and Krystal Garrison hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the second half to help the Lancers (5-15). Garrison led five Longwood players in double figures with 16 points. Coward and Crystal Smith (5 assists) each scored 13 points, Heather Tobeck added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks and Brittanni Billups chipped in 10 points and 9 rebounds for the Lancers, who sealed the win by making 6-of-6 free throws over the final 1:32. Longwood made 19 of 24 from the line overall. Amber Williams scored 16 points to lead the Roadrunners, who will host Longwood on Feb. 19.

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