Rhody Wins Third in a Row, Beating Vermont 63-50

Rhody Wins Third in a Row, Beating Vermont 63-50

Rhody Starters:
Melendez, Wallack, Banker, Thomas, Tabakman

Vermont Starters:

Butler, White, Taylor, Hutson, Eisler

Rhody Leaders:

Points: Tabakman (22)
Rebounds: Thomas (9) 
Assists: four players (2) 
Steals: Banker, Whittaker (2)
Blocked Shots: Melendez (3)
Minutes Played: Thomas (36)

Vermont Leaders:
Points: Burchill (14)
Rebounds: Butler (8) 
Assists: Eisler (4)
Steals: three players (1)
Blocked Shots: Huston (2)
Minutes Played: Butler (33)

How it Happened:
Rhode Island (4-7) won its third straight game for the first time since the 2007-08 season, beating Vermont 63-50 Saturday.

The Rams used a stifling defense to hold Vermont (3-5) to just 19 points in the first half. The Catamounts shot just 19.4 percent (6-for-31) in the opening 20 minutes. Both marks represented season lows in a half for Rhody opponents.

Despite the strong defense, Rhode Island led by just three points at halftime. Led by the play of sophomore forward Samantha Tabakman (21 points, 8 rebounds), the Rams used its size to control the paint on both ends of the court.

Vermont cut the lead to as little as two points at 48-46 with 4:42 remaining, but Rhode Island held the Catamounts to just four points the rest of the way.

Inside the Box Score:

  • Sophomore Samantha Tabakman was limited to two points and two rebounds in the first half, but she dominated after the break. She had 20 points and six boards in the second half.
  • Sophomore Tayra Melendez scored 13 points and also blocked three shots and moved into a tie with Caitlin Kearns for 10th place in school history with 49.
  • The Rams outrebounded Vermont 46-39, led by sophomore Brianna Thomas' career-high nine boards. Senior Kerry Wallack and sophomore Samantha Tabakman had eight each, while junior Sydney Lewis added seven.
  • Thomas finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing her first career double-double.
  • After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, the Rams had just five after halftime.
  • Rhode Island attempted a season-high 45 free throws. Its previous high was 24 against Northeastern.
  • Rhode Island's defense limited Vermont to 19 points and a 19.4 shooting percentage from the floor in the first half. Both marks represented season lows in a half for an opponent.

Stat of the Game:
– Sophomore Tayra Melendez has 49 career blocked shots through 38 games. She is tied with Caitlin Kearns for 10th place all-time in Rhody history, and she needs two more to tie Barbara Miltner (1981-84) for ninth place.  

What's Next:
Rhody is off until Saturday, Dec. 21 when it hosts in-state rival Providence at 2 p.m. The game will be televised by the Ocean State Network.