Rhody Drops Season Opener to Marshall, 61-45

Rhody Drops Season Opener to Marshall, 61-45

Rhody Starters
Melendez, Wilson, Straumann, Johnson, Tabakman

Marshall Starters
Scott, Johnson, Sorrells, Victrum, Ezeigbo 

Rhody Leaders
Points: Tabakman (10) | Rebounds: Tabakman (7) | Assists: Melendez (4) | Steals: Melendez, Wilson (2) | Blocked Shots: Tabakman (2) | Minutes Played: Melendez (32)

Marshall Leaders
Points: Scott (16) | Rebounds: Ezeigbo (12) | Assists: Sorrells (3) | Steals: Sorrells (3) | Blocked Shots: Ezeigbo (3) | Minutes Played: Scott (37)

How It Happened
Rhode Island (0-1) struggled from the floor and the free throw line as it fell to Marshall (1-0) in the opener of the URI Tip-Off Tournament. The visiting Thundering Herd defeated the Rams 61-45 to spoil the debut of Rhody head coach Daynia La-Force.

A high-pressure defensive effort that forced 17 turnovers kept Rhode Island in the game in the first half, as the Rams limited Marshall to 5-of-21 shooting (23.8 percent) from the floor before the break. The Rams went into the half trailing by just four points, but Marshall outscored Rhode Island by 12 points after the break to pull away down the stretch.

For the game, Rhode Island shot just 34.7 percent from the floor. The Rams did shoot 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) in the second half. However, the Rams were just 3-for-17 from beyond the 3-point arc and 8-for-19 (42.1 percent) from the free throw line. By contrast, Marshall was 19-of-25 (76 percent) from the line.

Inside the Box Score

  • Marshall remained in control throughout as the game featured just one tie and no lead changes.
  • Junior Samantha Tabakman led Rhode Island with 10 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. The 6-3 forward also netted two of Rhody's three 3-pointers on the afternoon.
  • Freshman Charise Wilson and sophomore Kiara Palmer each finished with eight points and five rebounds. 
  • Junior Tayra Melendez dished out a game-high four assists to go along with six points, five rebounds and two steals.
  • Four players scored in double figures for Marshall: Leah Scott (16), Norrisha Victrum (12), Chukwuka Ezeigbo (12) and McKenzie Akers (10). Tabakman was the lone Ram to score in double figures.
  • Wilson and freshmen classmates Dominique Ward and Tyler Raysor each made their collegiate debut in the season-opener. Wilson logged 29 minutes on the floor and recorded eight points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist. Raysor netted two points blocked one shot in five minutes of action while Ward finished with one rebound in 10 minutes played.
  • The Rams/Herd matchup was the opening game of the URI Tip-Off Tournament. Following the Rhody/Marshall tilt, East Carolina defeated East Carolina 83-68.
  • The game also marked the Rhode Island debut for head coach Daynia La-Force.
  • Official attendance was listed as 908 as a number of local schools took field trips to the Ryan Center to cheer on the Rams in their season-opener.

Stat of the Game
5 - Rhody (3) and Marshall (2) combined to hit just five three pointers, despite each team attempting 17.

What's Next
The Rams return to action tomorrow afternoon when they close out the URI Tip-Off Tourney with a 3 p.m. game against East Carolina.