Defense Sparks Rams to 72-64 Victory Over UMass Lowell

Defense Sparks Rams to 72-64 Victory Over UMass Lowell

Rhody Starters
Ross, Wilson, Banker, Ward, Tabakman

UMass Lowell Starters
Gibbs, Mitchell-Owens, Butler, Frase, Smith

How It Happened
Rhode Island used its pressure defense to create offense as the Rams held off UMass Lowell 72-64 Saturday afternoon.

Rhody (2-3) forced the River Hawks into 26 turnovers, which led to 28 points for Rhode Island. The 26 turnovers for UMass Lowell (0-5) were a season high for an opponent this season. It also was the third straight game Rhode Island has pressured the opposition into at least 21 turnovers.

UMass Lowell took a four-point lead into the second quarter after Nazarae Butler hit a 3-point shot from midcourt at the buzzer. Rhody opened the second quarter on a 6-0 spurred by an old-fashioned 3-point play by Tayra Melendez followed by a modern trey from Charise Wilson to put the Rams up by two. The rest of the quarter featured back-and-forth action as Rhode Island took a slight 34-31 lead into the break.

The Rams appeared set to break the game open when Wilson hit a 3-pointer to put them up by eight points with 7:00 to go in the third. However, UMass Lowell battled back to tie things up late in the period. Back-to-back fast break layups by Dominique Ward in the final 31 seconds of the third put Rhody up 56-53. The Rams never gave up the lead from there, building their lead to as many as 11 points and coasting down the stretch.

Inside the Box Score

  • Freshman Dina Motrechuk gave the Rams a big boost in the first half. The freshman center had four points, one rebound, two blocked shots and two assists in 11 minutes.
  • Senior Tayra Melendez had her best game of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. 
  • Senior Samantha Tabakman had 17 points, eight rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist.
  • Redshirt sophomore Morgan Johnson scored six points in eight minutes off the bench. Her points came on a pair of 3-point baskets during the fourth-quarter stretch during which Rhode Island put the game away.
  • Sophomore Charise Wilson had 14 points and matched her career high with seven assists. 
  • Sophomore Dominique Ward was the fourth Ram in double figures, scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds. She has scored 13 or more in four straight games.
  • Redshirt junior Kallie Banker had five assists and two steals at the point.
  • Rhode Island outscored UMass Lowell 44-22 in the paint.
  • There were nine ties and nine lead changes in the game.

Stat of the Game
20 – Rhode Island had a season-high 20 assists, with eight different players recording at least one.

What's Next

Rhode Island heads up the road to take on in-state rival Brown on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.