Rams Hold Off UMass Down the Stretch for Third Straight Win, 80-79

Rams Hold Off UMass Down the Stretch for Third Straight Win, 80-79

Rhody Starters
Melendez, Wilson, Banker, Ward, Tabakman

Massachusetts Starters
Dillard, Timbilla, McDerment, Hill, Lawrence

How It Happened
Rhode Island held on down the stretch, edging Massachusetts 80-79, Wednesday afternoon for its third straight victory.

Leading 70-68, Rhode Island (10-9, 4-3 A-10) got a driving layup from Charise Wilson as the shot clock expired to push the lead to four. After a defensive stop, senior Tayra Melendez drove for a layup to put the Rams up by six.

Massachusetts (6-13, 0-7 A-10) got a 3-pointer from Bria Stallworth to cut the deficit in half with 30 seconds to go. Rhody took care of business at the free throw line, hitting six straight at the line in the final 28 seconds to hold on for the victory. UMass hit two 3-pointers in the final 18 seconds, but Rhode Island never gave up the lead.

The victory for Rhode Island marked the first time the Rams have won three consecutive Atlantic 10 games in 12 years. Rhody had not won three straight league games since winning at St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's, then at home against Fordham during the 2003-04 season.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Charise Wilson finished with a season-high 28 points. It was her third straight game with 20 or more points, and her fourth 20-point game in five contests. It was the fifth time she has topped 20 this season. She also went over 800 career points (802) in just her 49th career game.
  • Senior Samantha Tabakman had 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. Tabakman also was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
  • Senior Tayra Melendez had a season-best 16 points, scoring eight points in each half. Melendez added five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
  • With her first 3-point shot of the day, Wilson became the first player in program history with 50 3-pointers in two different seasons. She has 51 this year after making 62 as a freshman a year ago.
  • Wilson also recorded the 150th assist of her career during the second quarter. She finished the game with five and now has 153 for her career.
  • Senior Symone Bullard had a career-high seven assists to go with two rebounds.
  • Redshirt junior Kallie Banker had nine points, while sophomore Dominique Ward added seven, all in the second half. 
  • The win snapped a four-game losing streak at the Mullins Center for Rhode Island. Rhody's last victory at UMass was Jan. 9, 2010, a 58-57 win. 
  • Rhode Island matched its season high with 20 asssits. It was the third time this season the Rams have reached 20.

Stat of the Game
– Rhode Island scored a season-high 80 points. It was the fourth straight game the Rams have scored at least 70 points.

What's Next

Rhode Island is back on the road when it heads to Fordham Saturday, Jan. 30. Game time is 2 p.m.