Rams Late Rush Falls Short in 54-51 loss to Providence

Rams Late Rush Falls Short in 54-51 loss to Providence

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

Providence Starters:

Iiskola, Harris, Beal, Pearson, Rule

Rhody Leaders:

Points: Melendez (18)
Rebounds: Wallack (14) 
Assists: Wallack, Whittaker (3) 
Steals: Whittaker (2)
Blocked Shots: Melendez (3)
Minutes Played: Melendez (40)

Providence Leaders:
Points: Beal (13)
Rebounds: Harris (16) 
Assists: Beal (5)
Steals: Beal (3)
Blocked Shots: Harris (2)
Minutes Played: Beal (36)

How it Happened:
After falling behind by as many as 11 points in the second half, Rhode Island (4-8) rallied, but ultimately fell to in-state rival Providence 54-51 Saturday.

Providence (5-5) led by one point (22-21) before closing the first half on an 11-5 run. The Friars then held Rhody without a field goal for the first 7:02 of the second half as they built a double-digit lead.

The Rams trailed by 11 with 13:43 to go, but kept battling back. Two free throws by Tati Johnson with 2:13 to go pulled Rhody within four points. After a PC basket, Kerry Wallack hit a layup with 48 seconds to go to make it a four-point game again.

Wallack drained a deep 3-point basket to make it 52-51 with 10 seconds to go. PC's Tori Rule responded with a pair of free throws to push the Friar lead to three with 6.6 seconds left. Rhode Island had a chance to tie, but was called for a backcourt violation to effectively seal the game.

Inside the Box Score:

  • Sophomore Tayra Melendez, the reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, had three blocked shots and moved past Barbara Miltner for ninth place in school history with 52 blocked shots.
  • Melendez added a game-high 18 points and four rebounds.
  • Senior Kerry Wallack had a season-high 14 rebounds and 10 points for her third double-double of the season. It was the fourth of her career.
  • Sophomore Samantha Tabakman finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
  • Sophomore Tati Johnson gave the Rams strong play off the bench. She finished with seven points, all in the second half, and five rebounds.
  • Rhode Island hurt itself at the free throw line, hitting just 18-of-29 (62.1 percent). The Rams had 12 more attempts than the Friars.
  • The loss snapped a modest three-game win streak for the Rams.
  • Forward Alexis Harris had a double-double for the Friars with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Sarah Beal added 13 points, seven boards, five assists and three steals

Stat of the Game:
– Sophomore guard Tayra Melendez played all 40 minutes for Rhode Island. It was the second time this season she has notched 40 minutes in a game.

What's Next:
Rhody is off until Monday, Dec. 30 when it hosts Division II Molloy. Game time is 4 p.m.