Richmond, VCU victorious in WNIT 1st Round

Richmond, VA (WWBT)- Sophomore Genevieve Okoro scored a team-high 19 points to lead four Spiders in double figures as Richmond rolled past Miami (OH), 76-54, on Thursday night at the Robins Center.

The game was a close affair for the first five minutes, with Richmond holding the 10-9 edge but the Spiders soon pieced together a game-changing 17-0 run to take a commanding 27-9 lead with 10:29 left in the first half. Miami would respond with a 12-0 run to get to within 27-21 at 6:19 left but the Spiders countered with an 8-0 scoring spree to bolster the advantage back to 35-21 with 4:10 remaining. Richmond held Miami at bay the rest of the half, taking a 39-28 edge into the break.

Miami got to within a 45-36 deficit after a Hannah Robertson lay-up at the 14:13 mark, but Richmond scored the ensuing four points to give itself breathing room. The Spiders would cruise the rest of the way.

Richmond dished a season-high 22 assists on 28 baskets. Abby Oliver handed out a career-best eight assists. Richmond won the board edge, 39-36, and grabbed a game-high 14 steals.

Oliver followed Okoro with 14 points, eight assists and four steals. Kristina King tied a career-high with 13 points, while Wann added 12 points. Rachael Bilney scored eight points, and dished a behind-the-back pass to a waiting Oliver that was the highlight of the game.

Richmond moved to 23-8, tying the 2004-05 record. Richmond notched 24 wins in 2008-09, the third most wins in school history. The Spiders moved to 8-8 all-time in the WNIT and won their first game in the tournament since 2010.  They'll face Virginia in Charlottesville on Monday at 7:00 in second round action.

VCU, meanwhile, traveled to Bowling Green for first round WNIT action, and won in dramatic fashion.  Andrea Barbour scored on a lay-up as time expired to give the Rams a 72-71 victory over the Falcons.  Barbour notched a double-double on the night of 20 points and eleven rebounds, but surprisingly, was not the Rams' top statistical performer.  Courtney Hurt dropped a game-high 30 points and added 17 boards to help VCU to the victory.  The Rams will travel to St. Joseph's for second round action on Sunday afternoon.

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