Second-Half Surge Sends Rhody Past Siena, 47-39

Second-Half Surge Sends Rhody Past Siena, 47-39

Postgame Interviews

Rhody Starters:
Melendez, Cloutier, Gaspar, Thomas, Straumann

Siena Starters:
Grenci, Sole Anglada, Krogh, Stewart, Coles

Rhody Leaders:
Points: Cloutier (10)
Rebounds: Tabakman (13)
Assists: Whittaker (6)
Steals: Cloutier (2), Whittaker (2)
Blocked Shots: Tabakman (2)
Minutes Played: Melendez (29), Cloutier (29), Whittaker (29)

Siena Leaders:
Points: Grenci (18)
Rebounds: Zarotney (9)
Assists: Stewart (2), Cummings (2)
Steals: Coles (5)
Blocked Shots: None
Minutes Played: Grenci (35), Krogy (35), Coles (35)

How it Happened:
After a low-scoring first half - that ended with Siena on top 21-16 - the Rams opened the the second frame on a 16-1 tear, building up a 10-point lead (32-22) while not allowing Siena a make from the field over the first 9:44. Rhody also forced nine turnovers in that span.

The Saints then used a 15-7 push to cut URI's lead to two (39-37) with 1:09 left on the clock, but Siena would not get any closer as Rhody closed things out with 7-of-8 shooting from the line and a pair of key defensive rebounds by freshman Tayra Melendez and sophomore Teneka Whittaker.

Inside the Box Score:

  • With the win, Rhody improves to 2-1 while Siena drops to 1-2.
  • The victory also gives Rhode Island back-to-back W's for the first time since defeating NJIT (Nov. 20) and Fairfield (Nov. 22) at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
  • The Rams overcame a five-point (21-16) halftime deficit in the win. Last season, Rhody was 0-22 when trailing at the break. URI's Nov. 22, 2010 game at Fairfield was the last time the Rams posted a win when trailing at the half -- nearly two full years ago.
  • The last time Rhode Island held an opponent to less than 40 points was on Dec. 28, 2002 when the Rams defeated Stetson, 67-38.
  • Junior Emilie Cloutier led URI with 10 points and two assists. She also recorded five rebounds and a blocked shot.
  • Freshman Samantha Tabakman was the Rams' top rebounder for the third game in a row, finishing the night with a career-high 13 boards. She is now averaging 11.3 rebounds per game for the Rams.
  • Freshman Tayra Melendez nearly reached double figures for the second consecutive game, finishing the night with nine points and six rebounds.
  • Sophomore guards Megan Straumann and Teneka Whittaker each grabbed five rebounds in the win -- career-highs for both players.
  • For the second game in a row, the Rhode Island defense held the opposition to under 30-percent shooting as Siena connected on a 24.1% (13-54) clip. On Tuesday night against Bryant, Rhody held the Bulldogs to a 25% (15-60) showing from the field.
  • The Rams won the battle of the boards, 41-37. URI is now 2-0 when out-rebounding the opposition.
  • The two teams combined for 49 turnovers - 25 by the Rams and 24 by the Saints.
  • For the second consecutive game, Rhode Island's freshmen accounted for more than half of the team's scoring (24 of 47 points): Melendez-9, Tabakman-5, Brianna Thomas-8, Symone Bullard-2.
  • The game featured two lead changes and three ties.
  • Lily Grenci scored a game-high 18 points for Siena. She was the only player from either team to reach double figures.

What's Next:
Rhody returns to the Ryan Center for a Wednesday evening tilt with Brown. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. Rhode Island is 22-8 in the all-time series vs. the Bears. The last time the teams met - on Jan. 4, 2012 - Brown posted a 53-40 win in Kingston, R.I.