Melendez, Wilson, Ward, Bullard, Lewis
La Salle Starters
Beslow, Alston, Cropper, Griffen Owens
How It Happened
Freshman Dominique Ward hit a free throw with seven seconds remaining in overtime and Rhode Island's defense forced a wild 3-pointer that missed as the Rams edged La Salle 55-54 Sunday afternoon at the Ryan Center.
After Ward hit the free throw, Brianna Thomas nearly came up with a steal as La Salle tried to move the ball up the court. Her defense set up an out-of-bounds play for the Explorers. Amy Griffin's long 3-point shot was no good, as Rhode Island (11-6, 3-2 A-10) came away with the win.
Trailing 36-26 with 14:15 to go, Rhode Island went on a 13-3 run to tie the score on a layup by Samantha Tabakman with 8:05 left to play. La Salle (10-8, 1-4 A-10) went back up 43-39, but Rhody responded with a 10-0 run, capped by an old-fashioned 3-point play by Sydney Lewis with 2:26 to go that gave the Rams a 49-43 lead.
La Salle responded with a 7-0 run of its own, taking a 50-49 lead when Siobhan Beslow hit a layup with seven seconds left. Ward then took the ball hard to the basket, drawing a foul with two seconds left. After missing the first attempt, she hit the second free throw to set up the extra period.
It was the second time in conference play the Rams had come back from a double-digit deficit to win at home. Rhody also defeated Duquesne 62-61 on Jan. 3 after trailing by 16 points in the second half.
Inside the Box Score
- The Rams have won now three conference games in a season for the first time since 2007-08, when Rhody went 5-9 in A-10 play.
- Rhode Island got a huge game from its bench, which scored 21 points. La Salle's bench scored five points.
- Junior Brianna Thomas scored a season-high 10 points, including seven in the first half.
- Classmate Samantha Tabakman registered nine points and five rebounds, making her first appearance after missing seven games with an injury.
- Senior Sydney Lewis recorded her second career double-double, finishing with 14 points and a career-best 16 rebounds, both game highs. Lewis also had three steals, two assists and a block.
- Junior Tayra Melendez had 10 rebounds, marking her second straight game with double digit boards.
- Freshman Dominique Ward played 43 minutes and had nine points, five rebounds, one block and one steal.
- Freshman Charise Wilson had her streak of double-digit scoring efforts snapped at 15 games. She finished with six points and four assists before fouling out with 11:11 remaining in regulation.
- Rhode Island committed 28 turnovers, while La Salle had 19.
- La Salle was just 14-of-30 from the free throw line. Rhode Island was 19-for-27.
- Rhode Island is now 1-1 in overtime games this season.
Stat of the Game
24 – Rhode Island was called for a season-high 24 fouls. Charise Wilson, Symone Bullard and Samantha Tabakman all fouled out.
Rhode Island hits the road for a pair of games at Dayton on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and at George Mason on Saturday (2 p.m.).