VCU's Rally Comes Up Short in 66-62 Loss at Richmond

FINAL: Richmond 66, VCU 62 (Robins Center)

VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #5 Royster, #20 Alaeze, #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks

RICHMOND STARTERS: #11 Powell, #21 King, #24 Bilney, S., #30 Dannelly, #31 Bilney, R.

THE BASICS:

  • Junior Robyn Parks led all scorers with a game-high 29 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, while freshman Jessica Pellechio added 14 points, but VCU's second half rally came up short in a 66-62 loss at Richmond on Wednesday night.  The Spiders snapped the Rams' two-game win streak.
  • Trailing 63-49 with 6:29 left, VCU mounted a furious comeback scoring 11 straight points and eventually pulled within 63-60 on a pair of Parks free throws with 51.5 seconds left.
  • Rachael Bilney drilled a long 3-pointer, her fifth of the game, with 24.7 seconds showing to snap the scoring drought and give the Spiders a six-point advantage.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • A tightly contested first half featured six ties and eight lead changes.  Nether squad led by more than five points the entire period.
  • Rachael Bilney converted a fast break layup, which capped a quick 7-0 run, and the Spiders held a 22-17 lead at the 7:22 mark.
  • Pellechio buried a triple from the left wing to halt the spurt on VCU's next possession.  It also sparked a 10-0 run in which the Rams took their largest lead, 27-24, on Pellechio's third trey of the half with 3:39 left.
  • Samantha Bilney knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and the Spiders pulled in front 30-29 just over a minute later.  VCU answered with consecutive buckets from Parks and senior Daphne Adebayo to move ahead 33-30 with a minute to go.
  • Becca Wann, who averages better than 10 points per game off the bench for the Spiders, scored five straight to end the half, including a jumper with four seconds showing, and Richmond took a 35-33 lead into the locker room.
  • Parks hit 3-of-4 at the free throw line on back-to-back possessions to cut VCU's deficit to 39-38 with 14:32 left.  Richmond went back ahead by six twice during the next three minutes before the Rams again made it a two-point game with 11:30 remaining.
  • Richmond caught fire and used an 11-0 run spanning five minutes to pull ahead 61-47 with 7:01 left.
  • Trailing by 14 with 6:29 to go, Parks converted a traditional three-point play to halt the surge.  It also sparked a furious rally as VCU scored 11 straight points to pull within 63-60 with 51.5 seconds showing.
  • Rachael Bilney ended the Spiders' six-minute scoring drought with a long triple from the left wing and gave Richmond a 66-60 edge with 24.7 seconds left.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Parks posted her first career 20-20 outing with a game-high 29 points to go along with a career-best 20 rebounds.  It's the second straight season a VCU player has posted a 20-20 effort as Courtney Hurt logged three last year, including a 32-point, 21-rebound game against Morgan State on Dec. 28, 2011.
  • Parks, who has scored in double figures in 25 straight games, posted her eighth double-double and ninth 20-point performance of the year.
  • Pellechio scored in double figures for the fourth straight game and 15th time this season.  She went 4-of-7 from 3-point range and currently leads the Atlantic 10 with 2.8 treys per game.
  • Freshman Adaeze Alaeze, who is the only VCU player to start all 11 A-10 games, finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
  • VCU has shot better than 40 percent from the field in back-to-back games.
  • Richmond went 12-of-29 from 3-point range, hitting six in each half.  Twin sisters Rachael and Samantha Bilney went a combined 9-of-16.

WHAT'S AHEAD: The Rams return to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday, Feb. 23 when they host Xavier at 1 p.m.  VCU then travels to Charlotte on Feb. 28 before closing out the regular season at home against Rhode Island on March 3 (televised on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m.).  Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.

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