ROCKINGHAM — Purnell Swett's Taylor Locklear grabbed an offensive rebound and went right back up with the ball to score with 37 seconds remaining in the first half.
It was the last basket her team would score in more than 16 minutes as Richmond limited Purnell Swett to nine points in the second half.
That defensive effort propelled the Raiders to a 59-28 Southeastern Conference victory over the Rams Wednesday night.
Lecie Griffin said Richmond overcame a rough start before finding a defensive rhythm after halftime.
“The key was being able to effectively run our press,” Griffin said. “We played sluggish in the beginning and we went into the locker room and regrouped. We played with some intensity as Coach (Ted) Gaskins says in the second half.”
The Raiders allowed six points in the third quarter and three in the fourth. Shaquail Wall outscored the Rams single-handily in the third, netting seven of her game-high 17 points during the frame.
“Defense has kept us in a lot of games earlier in the year,” Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate said. “Hopefully we will continue to do that.”
Jade Evans was the only other Raider in double figures, netting 12 points. Purnell Swett was paced by Christian Chavis and Winter Lockler. Both players had nine in the loss.
Richmond moved into sole possession of second place in the conference with a 2-1 record. Scotland sits atop the standings with a 3-0 mark.
Hoke and Lumberton are both 1-1 in the SEC and were scheduled to square off Tuesday, but the game was postponed because of the threat of winter weather. Purnell Swett falls to 0-3 in the league and 5-8 overall.
DeFrate said she wasn't nervous her team was going to look past the Rams especially coming off Friday's big win over the Pirates and with a game with the Scots looming on Tuesday.
“We have to take it game by game,” she said. “You can't overlook anymore in this conference. We played sluggishly in the first half and some of that carried over to the second half.”
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Friday when it travels to Southern Pines to face Pinecrest. Purnell Swett is scheduled to play host to Hoke at the same time.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.