A second-half dry spell helped hand the Wichita State University women’s basketball team a 49-46 defeat to Richmond Friday afternoon at the Cancun Challenge. Jessica Diamond poured in 17 points in the loss.
Richmond held Wichita State scoreless over a seven-minute, 40-second stretch in the second half, during which the Spiders went from six down to five up. A Diamond jumper at the 13:36 mark put WSU on top 38-32 but trailed 43-38 with 5:51 left following the run.
Two free throws from Alex Harden broke the spell. Two more free throws from the sophomore with 2:28 tied it and moments later Harden forced a steal in the open court and converted a layup in transition to put the Shockers ahead 46-44. Wichita State failed to score after that.
Diamond’s 17 points came on 8-of-15 shooting. The senior is averaging 17.5 ppg while shooting 56% in Cancun. Harden added 12 points with the help of 6-for-6 free throw shooting.
Rachael Bilney led Richmond and all scorers with 20 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Genevieve Okoro added nine points and seven rebounds before leaving the game with an injury late in the second half.
Richmond took an 8-4 lead by the first media timeout but WSU went on a 7-0 run to go up by three. After the teams traded leads, the Shockers held the Spiders to two points over the final seven minutes of the half and built a 25-18 advantage at the break. Wichita State shot 52.9% (9-of-17) in the first half but dipped to 30.8% (8-of-26) in the second half.
The Shockers close out their participation in the Cancun Challenge with a 12 p.m. CST tipoff Saturday vs. James Madison, the 2012 WNIT runner-up.