Rams Fall to Duquesne in Quarterfinal Battle

Rams Fall to Duquesne in Quarterfinal Battle

Rhody Starters
Melendez, Wilson, Whittaker, Bullard, Tabakman

Duquesne Starters
Johnson, Szamosi, Bresnahan, Nurkic, Robinson

How It Happened
In a final score that was not indicative of the way the game played, No. 6 Rhode Island fell 66-53 to No. 3 Duquesne in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Friday night.

Rhode Island took its final lead of the night on a Tayra Melendez 3-point shot with 5:04 to go that put the Rams up, 49-48. However, Jose-Ann Johnson responded with a jumper to give the Dukes the lead right back. From there, Duquesne closed the game on an 18-4 run.

Trailing 53-49 with 2:49 to go, Rhody (17-13) had a chance to make it a one-possession game. A missed one-and-one opportunity followed by a 3-point shot by Duquesne's April Robinson made it a seven-point game with 2:15 to go. From there, the Dukes (20-9) made their free throws down the stretch to seal their spot in the semifinals.

Both teams came out firing in a first half that featured six lead changes. Rhody went up by six points on a Sydney Lewis 3-point shot with 7:08 to go in the half. However, Duquesne shut out the Rams from there, ending the half on a 10-

Duquesne will advance to play No. 2 Dayton Saturday afternoon.

Inside the Box Score

  • The game featured eight lead changes and five ties. Neither team lead by more than six points until 8:54 remained in the second half.
  • Senior Sydney Lewis had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench. She had 10 points and four rebounds in the first half, when she was 2-for-3 from 3-point range in the half.
  • Tayra Melendez finished with 12 points, three rebounds and two steals despite being limited to eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.
  • Junior Symone Bullard gave the Rams a third double-digit scorer. She had 11 points, four assists and three rebounds.
  • Freshman Charise Wilson had six points, four rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes. Wilson has now played 1,055 minutes this season, tying Lindsay Harris (2008-09) for the second most in a single season in program history.
  • Duquesne forward Jose-Ann Johnson scored all 10 of her points in the second half. 
  • The Dukes had a major advantage at the free throw line, making 16-of-23 attempts. Rhode Island went to the line just seven times. The first free throw for the Rams did not come until 7:43 remained in the game.

Stat of the Game
150 –
Rhode Island now has 150 3-point baskets this season after making seven Friday night. It is the second most in a season in program history, behind only the 152 Rody hit in 2007-08.

What's Next
Rhode Island will await the selection of the fields for the 64-team WNIT and the 16-team Women's Basketball Invitational to see whether its season will continue. The fields for both tournaments will be announced Monday, March 16.