RICHMOND — As a senior Rambler, Madison Forgue has been down this road a time or two. When things aren’t going Winthrop’s way early, she figures that plugging away is eventually going to pay off.

Forgue connected on a trio of key 3-pointers in the second half following a tough start, and the Ramblers turned it on late for a 46-41 win over host Richmond in girls basketball on Thursday night. Forgue led all scorers with 16 points, 11 of them in the second half.

“You just try and make it up on defense,” Forgue said. “It definitely does wrestle with my brain, but I have to remind myself that you’re going to miss shots — but if you don’t shoot, the ball’s not going to go in.”

After chasing the Bobcats for most of the third quarter, a free throw from Lydia Rice with 5:48 left in the final quarter pulled Winthrop (7-4) even at 32-32. That single point touched off an 11-2 Rambler run that gave them the breathing room they needed.

Sage Fortin finished with 15 points for Winthrop, while Rice added 11.

“It took us a little while to adjust with some players in different roles, but no excuses,” said Winthrop co-coach Jess Merrill, whose team was accounting for the loss of Maddie Perkins, who was injured in practice on Monday. “What we showed in the fourth quarter was what we can do. We were able to get a lot of looks off our press.”

The Rambler defense rose to the challenge in the late stages of Thursday’s game.

After a dreadful 8 of 24 effort from the floor in the first half, Winthrop started converting hoops into full-court pressure that turned into easy layups during the crucial fourth-quarter run.

With just one senior on the roster, Richmond (1-5) was game — but the lack of experience in the backcourt caught up to it as Winthrop ratcheted up the intensity.

Richmond committed six turnovers during a stretch that saw the home team go 5:23 in the second half without a field goal.

“We finally gave into their ball pressure,” Richmond coach Mike Ladner said. “We’re an extremely young team… We struggle when there’s ball pressure, and it got to us at the end. It’s just a lack of experience.”

Richmond scored just nine fourth-quarter points, all but two in the final two minutes when they trailed by as many as eight.

“We started working together as a team, which was the most important thing,” Forgue said.

With a pair of 6-footers inside, Richmond dominated the paint. They shot 8 of 13 from the field in the first half and had nearly double the total rebounding numbers of the Ramblers.

But they couldn’t hold onto the ball and find the paint presence in the fourth quarter that they’d enjoyed for more than 24 minutes to begin the contest.

“I was pleased with the girls,” Ladner said. “I didn’t know what we were going to get into with Winthrop. We knew they were a good team, they went to the state championship game last year. They’re quick, they’re athletic, they’re a tough matchup for us.

“We tried to take the air out of the ball — walk the ball up the floor, slow it down and work the ball inside. That was our game plan. We did that for three and a half quarters, but it just got away from us at the end.”

Freshman Izzy Stewart led Richmond with 12 points, while Sophie Wells finished with eight and Macy Carver added seven.

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