Rams Lose to Hampton in Overtime of Surfing Santa Title Game

Rams Lose to Hampton in Overtime of Surfing Santa Title Game

Rhody Starters
Melendez, Wilson, Banker, Ward, Tabakman

Hampton Starters
Tate-DeFreitas, Gilbeaux, Jordan, Lupoe, Green

How It Happened
Despite scoring the first four points of overtime, Rhode Island fell 59-54 to Hampton in the finals of the FIU Surfing Santa Classic Tuesday afternoon.

A Tayra Melendez free throw and a 3-pointer by Charise Wilson put the Rams (6-6) up 54-50 with 3:18 to go. Hampton (3-9) did not score until a 3-point shot by Malia Tate-DeFreitas made it a one-point game with 2:09 left in overtime.

Hampton – which won the MEAC's regular-season title last season – took the lead with 59 second left and held on from there. Rhode Island missed its final four field goal attempts and two free throws over the final 3:18.

Trailing by two with less than a minute to go, Rhody got a driving layup from Symone Bullard to tie the score. After a defensive stop, the Rams had a chance to take the last shot, but a turnover gave Hampton the ball with seven seconds remaining. Malia Tate-DeFreitas drove to the basket, but Samantha Tabakman blocked the shot out of bounds with 1,8 seconds to go. The Lady Pirates had another shot at the buzzer, but Tabakman again applied the pressure as the look fell short, forcing overtime.

The Rams got out of the gates quickly, building an 11-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Samantha Tabakman dominated in the paint early, scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds and blocking a shot in the first period.

Hampton responded in the second quarter, keeping Rhody scoreless for the first 4:15 of the quarter. The Lady Pirates gradually worked their way back into the game, tying the score for the first time on a jumper from Malia Tate-DeFreitas with 2:57 left in the half. From there, Rhode Island responded with a 7-0 run to close the half. Charise Wilson keyed the spurt with five points, while Tabakman added a pair of free throws as the Rams went into the break up 32-25.

Inside the Box Score

  • Tayra Melendez had eight points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. She grabbed her 500th career rebound in the fourth quarter.
  • For the second day in a row, Samantha Tabakman and Charise Wilson tied for team-high scoring honors, each finishing with 14 points.
  • Tabakman added nine rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
  • Wilson had three steals and three assists.
  • Kiara Palmer gave Rhode Island a boost off the bench. In 10 minutes, she had six points, three rebounds, one assist and one block.
  • Tournament MVP Malia Tate-DeFreitas had 33 points and six rebounds for Hampton. She made five 3-point shots and was 8-for-8 at the free throw line.
  • The only other player to score in double figures was Hampton's Ryan Johnson, who had 14 points.
  • Hampton won despite shooting 27 percent (20-of-73) from the floor. Eight of its 20 field goals were 3-point baskets.
  • Hampton competed at FIU's post-Christmas tournament last season as well, winning the FIU Sun & Fun Classic.

Stat of the Game
– Hampton had 21 offensive rebounds. Despite this, the Lady Pirates managed just eight second-chance points.

What's Next
Rhode Island opens Atlantic 10 play when it hosts St. Bonaventure Sunday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m.