UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The senior class for the University of Richmond women's basketball team (14-16, 8-8 Atlantic 10) stepped on its home floor for the final time on Tuesday night and did not disappoint; knocking off Davidson (12-18, 7-9 A-10), 62-53, in the first round of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Tournament.
The eighth-seeded Spiders never trailed and led by as many as 16 en route to an impressive victory over the ninth-seeded Wildcats, who defeated Richmond in the Robins Center earlier this season. The next step for the Spiders will be a quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded Dayton on Friday morning. Tip is set for 11 a.m. Chalk held throughout the rest of the bracket with No. 3 Fordham, No. 4 George Mason, No. 5 George Washington and No. 6 Saint Joseph's and No. 7 Saint Louis all picking up victories.
Leading the Spiders, with a season-high 30 points, just three shy of her career-high, was Micaela Parson. Her career-high of 33 was actually set opposite Davidson, in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, in 2016. Just for fun she pulled down seven rebounds and handed out four assists to go with a steal and a block. Her 30 points and four assists accounted for 41 of Richmond's 62 points (66.1%).
Micaela was also 9-10 from the free throw line. What's significant is that in doing so she broke the single-season free throw's made record (146 - Karen Elsner 1983-84) and is now the first player in program history to have made more than 150 (151) in a single season. Speaking of records, her 30 points gives her 559 for the season, the seventh in a single season in program history and makes her just the fifth different player in program history to score 550 in a season.
Joining Micaela in double figures for the 17th time this season was her sister Alex Parson. She was the only other Spider to reach double digits with 11 in the game to go with five rebounds and a pair of assists over 32 minutes of action off the bench. Kailyn Fee added eight on 2-6 from long range and 2-2 from the free throw line. Dee Hatcher pulled down seven rebounds and Kylie Murphree handed our four assists to go with five steals.
When these two teams met last, Davidson jumped out to a 10-0 lead and the Spiders never recovered. This time the home side flipped the script, jumping out to a 7-0 advantage and forcing Davidson to take a timeout just shy of two minutes into the game. The Wildcats responded to cut it to one, 7-6, but the run was short-lived as the Spiders closed the quarter on a 14-2 run to take a 13-point lead into the second quarter.
There was a lot of basket trading in the second, leaving Richmond with an 11-point lead at the break but in the third, the Spiders came out hot. With 6:41 to go in the quarter, Micaela fed Alex for a three ball that pushed the Spider lead to 16. Davidson did its part to cut into the lead but Richmond maintained a 44-37 advantage heading into the final frame.
Neither side scored until the 6:45 mark in the fourth when Micaela knocked down a mid-range jumper, forcing Davidson into a timeout. Davidson was never able to cut the deficit inside of five points the rest of the way and the Spiders made free throws down the stretch to keep the Wildcats at arms length.
Richmond will now look to upend the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions at the Richmond Coliseum on Friday morning. The Spiders trailed by just two entering the fourth quarter of the last meeting with Dayton and ultimately fell by just seven after playing the entire fourth quarter without Kylie Murphree.
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