Wilson Drops 26, but Rams Come Up Just Short Against No. 23 Syracuse, 57-54

Wilson Drops 26, but Rams Come Up Just Short Against No. 23 Syracuse, 57-54

Rhody Starters
Melendez, Wilson, Banker, Ward, Tabakman

Syracuse Starters
Peterson, Slim, Butler, Sykes, Brianna Day

How It Happened
Rhode Island (0-1) pushed No. 23 Syracuse (1-0) to the brink, but a late surge by the Orange paved the way for a 57-54 victory in the season opener for both teams Friday.

The Rams led 48-41 with 9:36 left in the game, but a 10-2 run by Syracuse gave the Orange their first lead of the fourth quarter with 5:58 remaining. Senior Samantha Tabakman made a short jumper to put Rhody back in front 52-51 with 5:28 to go. However, Syracuse came right back with a layup by Brittney Sykes to put the Orange up, this time for good.

Syracuse held the Rams to two points over the final 5:28 to escape with a hard-fought victory.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Charise Wilson started out the season with a bang, leading all scorers with 26 points. She also led the Rams with eight rebounds and had four steals.
  • Wilson also hit four 3-point shots.
  • Senior Tayra Melendez had 10 rebounds, four points, two blocks and two steals.
  • Rhode Island had seven blocked shots on the night. Samantha Tabakman, Tayra Melendez and Jalissa Ross each had two.
  • Freshman Amari Johnson gave Rhody a boost off the bench in the second half. In six minutes, she had two points, two steals and an assist.
  • The Rams were strong at the free throw line, shooting 8-for-10 as a team. 
  • Despite being limited to 15 minutes by foul trouble, Samantha Tabakman had six points, three rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal.
  • Sophomore Tyler Raysor showed her ability to score under the basket, hitting a pair of baskets in the paint. 
  • Redshirt sophomore Morgan Johnson scored her first career points in the first half on a 3-point basket in the second quarter.
  • There were nine lead changes and one tie in the game.
  • Guard Alexis Peterson had a huge impact, despite shooting just 1-for-9 from the floor. She had 10 steals, eight assists and four rebounds. 
  • Syracuse guard Brianna Butler led her team with 20 points, including six 3-point baskets.
  • The Orange moved the ball well, finishing the night with 15 assists.
Stat of the Game
510 –

Just one game into her sophomore season, Charise Wilson already has 510 career points.

What's Next
Rhode Island hits the road for a game at Marshall Wednesday, Nov. 18. Game time is 6 p.m.