Navy Women's Basketball Continues Undefeated Streak with 76-56 Win at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. – The Navy women’s basketball team kept producing high-level results on Wednesday night on the road with a 76-56 victory over the Richmond Spiders. Coming into their matchup versus the Spiders (5-6) with a spotless 8-0 record, the Mids (9-0) left little doubt that they would continue their run of undefeated play as they led wire-to-wire and outscored the hosts in each and every quarter. A 13-3 margin to open play in the first quarter sparked Navy to the win at UR’s Robin Center.
The trio of Taylor Dunham (Sr., Fort Belvoir, Va.), Hannah Fenske (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) and Laurel Jaunich (So., Charlotte, Vt.) led Navy’s individual effort on Wednesday night versus Richmond. Dunham finished her 33 minutes of play with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Fenske notched 17 points, four rebounds and four assists on 7-11 shooting from the field. In 19 minutes of play off the bench, Jaunich made her presence felt with 10 points and eight rebounds on 5-8 shooting.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” exclaimed Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. “Laurel Jaunich had a really big game. Obviously, Hannah and Taylor were terrific. I thought that we controlled the tempo pretty well, which was a big goal for us as Richmond does a really good job of pushing the pace. They average 74 points per game and like to push it on makes and misses so I thought that was going to be a key; I feel like we did a good job with that.
“Their best player [Micaela Parson] is really good and we really didn’t hold her down like we would’ve like as she got 19 points and 11 rebounds, but we had good team defense to contain the rest of their offense and held them to 56 points and less than 30 percent shooting. I’m super happy!”
After the game started with a Dunham three-pointer at 8:45 and a quick rebuttal by Richmond at 7:58 to make it 3-2, the Mids scored the next eight points over the next 5:53 of play. Up by nine at 11-2, the teams closed the period with a final mark of 13-3.
Dunham and Fenske shared top scoring honors for the quarter with five points each. A smothering Mids’ defense held the host Spiders to just a 1-15 (6.7%) field goal mark from the field for the opening 10 minutes. Navy shot 5-16 (31.3%) from the field.
“We came out so ready to go,” remarked Pemper. “Holding them to three points in the first quarter was incredible.”
Each squad found better offensive footing in the second period with respective shooting percentages over 37.5 for both. Following a Fenske trey to open the second quarter scoring at 9:17 to make it 16-3, the Spiders scored 11 of next 15 points to turn a 13-point deficit to six at 20-14 at 5:25.
Navy’s offense re-asserted itself down the stretch in the second quarter and outscored Richmond, 11-4 to take a 31-18 lead into the locker room. Jaunich sparked the Mids with six of her eight second-quarter points during this run of play.
At the half, Navy was outshooting Richmond, 37.5 percent (12-32) to 22.6 (7-31). The Mids also held advantages in rebounds, 29-17 and made three-pointers, 3-1.
In the opening three-plus minutes of second half, Navy increased its lead out to 17 at 39-22. Dunham scored five of the first eight points for the Mids to start the third quarter. Down 17, the Spiders got hot for a 1:35 stretch and shaved eight points off their deficit to trail by just nine points, 39-30 at 5:12.
That would be the last time the hosts trailed by single digits as Navy took a timeout and quickly re-grouped on both ends of the court. Over the final portion of play in the third quarter, Richmond made just one field goal, a three-pointer, as well as three free throws. The opposite end of the spectrum saw Navy’s offense net 16 points to go up 55-36 after 30 minutes of play. Six different players provided the Mids’ scoring with Fenske registering five points and Kaila Clark (So., Hughesville, Md.) recording four points to highlight the action.
Up 19, the final decision was never in doubt for the Mids over the course of play in the fourth quarter as the teams played a nearly even, 21-20 period. Navy’s 21 points came from six players with the trio of Dunham, Mary Kate Ulasewicz (So., Doylestown, Pa.) and Bianca Roach (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) all recording five points, respectively.
In the 76-56 victory, Navy outshot Richmond, 43.3 percent (26-60) to 28.2 (20-71). On the strength of three three-pointers by Fenske and Dunham, the Mids took the three-pointers made stat, 8-5. Navy also corralled four more rebounds than Richmond, 48-44. Sophie Gatzounas (Fr., South Hadley, Mass.) and Jaunich led Navy in boards with respective tallies of 10 and eight rebounds.
Gatzounas missed a double-double by just a point as she finished with nine points, in addition to her 10 rebounds.
Eight of the 10 players that saw action on Wednesday registered points.
“Our women were so fired up and it showed tonight,” said Pemper. “This is a great win on the road. We haven’t been on the road much so far this season so this was good to see. We obviously have a big one on the road at New Mexico on Sunday.”
Navy will continue its non-conference play on Sunday, Dec. 10 on the road in Albuquerque, N.M. with a showdown versus the New Mexico Lobos. Winners of nine straight games to open 2017-18, the Mids will look to increase one of the best starts in program history as they’re on the hunt for the 11-0 mark that the 1995-96 team set at the beginning of their season.