RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond beat South Florida 63-55 behind 19 points from sophomore Saona Chapman in the opening round of the WNIT on Thursday night at the Robins Center. The Spiders improved to 21-9, equaling their win mark from last season, and the Bulls ended their season at 14-15.
Chapman was 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. Freshman Christina Campion recorded a double double, her fourth in six games, with a game-high 14 rebounds and 11 points. Junior Kate Flavin added 12 points and five steals.
For the Bulls, Anedra Gilmore scored 19 and Jessica Dickson had 13.
After turning the ball over on its first three possessions, Richmond settled down and took a 12-6 lead five minutes into the game. The Bulls responded with nine unanswered points, and the Spiders missed 10 shots, as USF took a three-point lead at the 10:10 mark.
Richmond equaled its largest lead of the half (six) after a 3-point basket from Chapman with five minutes remaining, but it scored just two more in the first half and held a 25-23 edge at the break.
Richmond hit its first three shots, two 3-pointers and a jumper, of the second half and took a double-digit lead less than 90 seconds into the half. At the 14:32 mark, senior guard Amber Goppert scored a fastbreak layup to give the Spiders a 13-point edge.
The Bulls hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to eight with just less than 10 minutes remaining, and the Bulls got within five twice, with 5:47 and 1:59 left, with 3-point baskets.
But Chapman converted a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left, and South Florida missed its last two shots.
The Spiders host Florida State in the second round at 2 p.m. Sunday. If USF had won, it would have hosted FSU in the first postseason game at the Sun Dome in 13 years.
TCU coach status in doubt after his DUI arrest
TCU coach Jeff Mittie arrived with his team in Philadelphia for the NCAA Tournament, but he doesn't know whether he will coach the Frogs in Saturday's game against Temple after he was arrested in Kansas on suspicion of drunken driving.
TCU athletic director Eric Hyman said the school has not made a decision on disciplinary action and is gathering information on the incident. Hyman would not speculate on possible punishment, but the coach could be suspended.
"In my mind, coaches are held to the highest standards because they are mentors, educators and leaders of young people," Hyman said. "Coaches need to take extraordinary steps to avoid any improprieties or the appearance of improprieties."
Mittie, 37, in Kansas on a recruiting trip, was detained in the Harvey County Detention Center for investigation of DUI early Wednesday and was released on a $1,000 bond, Harvey County deputy Keith Blackwood said.
Georgia has faith in its NCAA chances
Georgia kicked its best player off the team with less than two weeks to go in the regular season. So, that had to be quite a blow?
Georgia (22-9) is playing much better since leading scorer Kara Braxton was dismissed Feb. 20 for repeated rules violations.
The Bulldogs made an extended run in the SEC tournament, highlighted by an overtime upset of top-ranked Tennessee in the semifinals. They had a 16-point halftime lead against Vanderbilt in the championship before running out of steam, losing 62-56 in their fourth game in four days.
Now it's on to the NCAA Tournament, where the Bulldogs hope to keep things going. Seeded third in the West, they open Saturday against Liberty in Philadelphia.
"We're more than capable of being a champion," said freshman guard Janese Hardrick, one of those who picked up the slack after Braxton was dismissed. "It's just a matter of how bad we want to fight for it."