Richmond Times-Dispatch

UR women will try to end Tech streak

Parson, Chapman spearhead Spiders’ bid against Hokies

- BY JOHN O’CONNOR joconnor@timesdispa­tch.com (804) 649-6233 Twitter: @ RTDjohnoco­nnor

The Virginia Tech women’s basketball program has won 55 consecutiv­e home games against nonACC competitio­n. The University of Richmond, led by a pair of Richmond-area residents, gets this season’s first crack at snapping the streak. The Spiders open in Blacksburg on Wednesday at 4 p.m., the start of Aaron Roussell’s second season as UR coach, as well the final first step for 5-foot-6 senior guard Alex Parson (Monacan High), and the next step for

6-3 sophomore forward Elaina Chapman (Trinity Episcopal).

Parson (6.3 points per game, 2.5 assists per game) will make her 63rd straight start. “I think she

had a tremendous offseason. Really came in … more comfortabl­e with us as a staff, and what the offense is, and kind of leading a team,” Roussell said. “She’s been great.”

Chapman (4.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg), the 2019 Richmond Times-Dispatch player of the year while at Trinity, comes off a freshman season that Roussell characteri­zed as “solid.” He sees

Women’s college basketball

Wednesday: 4 p.m.

something more than that coming as Chapman’s developmen­t continues in the college game, and in

Richmond’s offense.

Like theUR men’s team, Roussell wants to spread the floor, an approach that leads to 3-point shots. The women hit 31.9% from 3-point distance last season (15-17, 7-9 A-10), but that’s likely to change with five freshmen. Somewill be members of the rotation. Four of the five are 6-0 or taller, with the exception being 5-5 Grace Townsend (James River High).

In recruiting, “We wanted to get longer and we wanted to be able to shoot the basketball better,” said Roussell, whose team was picked eighth in the A-10 preseason poll. “I think the new kids are adding that.”

The Hokies, picked to finish seventh in the ACC, haven’t dropped a home game to nonconfere­nce competitio­n since losing to Northweste­rn on Dec. 4, 2014. Virginia Tech and Richmond have met 12 times, with each program winning six.

The Spiders open their home schedule on Sunday against Georgetown. Fans are not allowed at the Robins Center at this time.

“We want to [design the schedule so] that we’re playing high-level, national tournament teams, in the ACC, the Big East, all of those,” Roussell said. “I think, hopefully, we do this right and we get to the NCAA tournament, those are the teams that you’re going to see.”

 ?? 2020, TIMES- DISPATCH ?? Richmond’s Alex Parson and VCU’s Tera Reed battled for the ball in February at the Robins Center. Parsonwill make her 63rd straight start in the Spiders’ season opener.
2020, TIMES- DISPATCH Richmond’s Alex Parson and VCU’s Tera Reed battled for the ball in February at the Robins Center. Parsonwill make her 63rd straight start in the Spiders’ season opener.
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Chapman

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