by Matt Lincoln
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond lady Spiders were in striking distance at halftime against the sixth ranked Xavier Musketeers. But less than five minutes later, the game was out of hand.
Xavier started the second half on a 20-2 run to overpower the Spiders, 79-57, Wednesday night at the Robins Center.
Richmond only trailed the Musketeers 36-27 at the break, but Xavier started the last frame with 10 unanswered points to set the tone. After two Amber Nichols free throws gave Richmond its first points of the second half at 14:35 mark, the Musketeers scored 10 more to put the game out of reach.
Xavier scored the game's first 10 points, but Richmond came to life behind the hot-shooting Shells to claw back to a 12-9 deficit at the 13:58 mark in the first frame.
Another Shells jumper cut the lead to 14-11 but Xavier again had the answer and scored seven in a row to put the deficit back to 21-11. Shells nailed a three with seven seconds remaining to slash the advantage to 36-27 at the break.
Xavier's Tyeasha Moss scored a career-best 21 points while Ta'Shia Phillips also added 21 points and 15 boards.
Richmond was led by Shells' 24 points with Abby Oliver following with 11 tallies. Shells also added four steals, while Oliver and Sam Bilney chipped in with three assists each. Ryann Dannelly chipped in with six points, as did Genevieve Okoro.