Melendez, Wilson, Whittaker, Bullard, Tabakman
Saint Louis Starters
Kemph, Vliet, Price, Jakubicek, Stipanovich
How It Happened
Senior Teneka Whittaker played the best game of her career on Senior Night, leading Rhode Island to a 68-53 victory over Saint Louis Thursday.
Making her first start of the season, Whittaker set career highs with 16 points and eight rebounds to spark the victory. Rhode Island (16-11, 8-7 A-10) opened the game with a 22-2 run and never trailed. The Rams led by as many as 25 points in the first half and took a 17-point lead into the break.
Saint Louis (14-14, 7-8 A-10) opened with a run of its own in the second half to pull within six points at 49-43 with 9:53 to go. However, Rhode Island put the game away with a 10-0 push during which it held Saint Louis scoreless for a stretch of 6:04.
Inside the Box Score
- Senior Teneka Whittaker provided a huge spark for the Rams, scoring 16 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists in 38 minutes. Whittaker was 5-for-6 from the floor, including a career-best 4-for-4 from 3-point range.
- Freshman Charise Wilson and junior Symone Bullard each scored 14 points, while Samantha Tabakman had 10 points, giving the Rams one of their most balanced attacks of the season.
- Wilson also added six assists, five rebounds and one steal.
- Tabakman had four blocked shots, marking the fifth time this season she has had at least four. She also had three steals for the second straight contest.
- Junior Tayra Melendez finished with nine points, four rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals. She now has 32 blocks for the year, making her the second player in program history to record at least 30 blocks in three different seasons. Naomi Graves accomplished the feat four times.
- Rhode Island forced 21 turnovers against a Saint Louis team that was averaging just 15.7 per game before Thursday.
- The Rams scored 23 points off of the turnovers.
- Saint Louis had a 43-33 advantage on the boards. However, the Billikens scored just 11 points of their 16 offensive rebounds.
- Rhode Island tied its season high with 10 makes from beyond the arc.
- Before the game, seniors Megan Straumann, Sydney Lewis and Teneka Whittaker were honored. Each has been with the program for four seasons.
Stats of the Game
.500 – With the victory, Rhode Island has clinched at least a .500 record in conference play for the first time since 2003-04.
4 - Teneka Whittaker hit all four of her 3-point attempts. She had four three-pointers combined in the first 26 games of the season.
Rhode Island closes out the regular season at Massachusetts on Sunday, March 1. Game time is 2 p.m.