ROCKINGHAM — It wasn’t pretty, but with two weeks left in the regular season, it is what Richmond Senior needs at this time.
The Raiders rallied from a six-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime, then they found just enough offense to claim a 50-45 win over Purnell Swett Tuesday night at Raider Gymnasium.
Richmond (5-13, 3-4) was without Shaquail Wall, the team’s leading scorer, who missed the game because of an illness.
“A win is a win is a win,” Richmond coach Victoria DeFrate said. “We pulled together as a team without our leading scorer. I’m really proud of the girls stepping up.”
Kivana Keane and Jennifer Steen were the only Raiders to score in double figures in Wall’s absence with 16 and 11, respectively. Jade Evans scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“I think it gave Kivana some confidence,” DeFrate said. “An ACL injury can be tricky coming back from. For her to play the majority of the game really gave her confidence. I thought both Jennifer and Jessica (Steen) played aggressive on offense and went after rebounds. And they had a couple of steals.”
Trailing by one midway through overtime, Keane drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Richmond the lead for good at 45-43.
“I have been missing a lot of shots, so I have been paranoid about shooting,” Keane said. “When I hit it, it gave me some confidence.”
The Raiders forced overtime by reeling off an 8-2 run in the final 5:30 of the fourth quarter. Evans scored on two putbacks, while Jennifer Steen hit one of two free throws with 46.3 remaining to tie the game at 39.
Both teams had opportunities to take the lead in regulation, but Asiana Douglas missed a jumper on Richmond’s final possession, while Purnell Swett’s Mikala Lowery misfired as the buzzer sounded.
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Friday when it plays host to Lumberton.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.