Women’s basketball (7-21) split the final two games of the 2017-18 regular season last week. The Black and Gold defeated Saint Louis University 88-84 in a thrilling overtime affair Wednesday before falling to Davidson College 69-63 Saturday afternoon.
“Senior day” may not have featured any graduating Rams, but the last home game of the year for women’s basketball was nonetheless an emotional contest. A season-high 49.2 shooting percentage lifted VCU over St. Louis in extra time, with four Rams scoring in double figures.
Freshman guard Tera Reed poured in 24 points and grabbed six boards, her fourth 20-point performance this year. Reed leads VCU in scoring this year with 14 points per game.
Sophomore guard Nyra Williams put up a career-high 15 points to go along with a trio of steals. Williams went 7-8 from the charity stripe and drove the lane looking for contact all night, much like her teammates. VCU shot 25-37 from the line compared to the Billikens’ 15-25.
Sophomore center Danielle Hammond controlled the paint for the Black and Gold with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman guard and Richmond native Taya Robinson contributed 14 points and six boards.
A 14-3 VCU run in the third quarter looked to be the deciding factor before Saint Louis caught fire down the stretch. The Billikens scored the final 10 points of regulation to snatch a cozy senior-day victory from the Rams’ clutches. VCU responded in overtime, building an 81-73 lead with a minute and a half to play. Timely stops and high pressure free throws sealed the win for the Black and Gold.
Despite a late 7-0 run that cut the Wildcat lead to just three with a minute to play, VCU failed to pull out a win on the road in its season finale Saturday.
Robinson, who attended Huguenot High School, was sensational — the freshman guard scored a career-high 21 points on 8-11 shooting from the floor.
Per usual, Reed led the Rams’ charge, with 17 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.
The Black and Gold trailed 66-63 with possession and 17 seconds to go, but a turnover on a tipped inbounds pass stymied any machinations of a late rally.
VCU will be the No. 11 seed in the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship. The Rams travel to No. 6 Saint Joseph’s University for a 7 p.m. tip Tuesday.
Zach Joachim, Sports Editor