How It Happened
Two Samantha Tabakman free throws with three seconds remaining sealed a 56-52 victory for Rhode Island over Harvard in the opening game of the Tip-off Tournament on Saturday at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.
The Rams (1-2) led 11-8 after the first quarter, with Tabakman scoring four points in the opening frame. Rhody built as much as a six-point lead in the second quarter - after a Dominique Ward layup made it 17-11 with 6:32 to play in the half.
The Crimson would score eight unanswered points, taking a 19-17 lead with 4:15 to play in the half. But Ward would continue her offensive output, scoring seven of the Rams' final 13 points and Rhody led 30-26 at the break.
Back-to-back layups by Tayra Melendez midway through the third quarter gave Rhode Island its largest lead of the contest - 10 points - at 38-28, with 5:06 left in the period. Harvard would cut that lead in half, as Rhody held a 42-37 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Morgan Johnson began the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for Rhody (45-37, 9:48 left), but Harvard would counter with a 9-1 run over the next four minutes, tying the ballgame at 46-46. Rhody countered with a 6-0 push, capped by a Melendez FT with 1:56 left and the Rams leading 54-48.
Down two, Harvard had a chance to tie - or take the lead - but Rhody came up with a defensive stop, with Tabakman corralling the defensive board before she was fouled. The senior then headed to the line to ice the game.
Inside the Box Score
- Dominique Ward posted her second career-high in points in as many games, leading all scorers with 19 this afternoon. Ward was 8-of-13 from the floor, while grabbing six rebounds.
- Over her past two games, the sophomore from Trenton, N.J. has scored 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the floor.
- Charise Wilson controlled both ends of the floor for Rhody, scoring 15 points while also tying her career-best in steals, with six.
- Samantha Tabakman registered her second consecutive double-double, scoring 11 points while grabbing a game-high 11 boards (5 off./6 def.). She was also 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.
- Morgan Johnson came off the bench to provide an outside shooting spark, connecting on 2-of-5 from the perimeter.
- As a team, Rhody collected 13 steals - the second time in three games that the Rams reached double-figures in swipes.
- Jalissa Ross grabbed five boards in 14 minutes off the bench.
- Dina Motrechuk saw her first collegiate action.
Stat of the Game
30 – The Rams scored 30 of their 56 points in the paint vs. Harvard.
Rhode Island will play Albany tomorrow at noon at the Ryan Center. Harvard will face Toledo at 3pm.