Melendez Leads Rhode Island Past Bryant, 65-50

Melendez Leads Rhode Island Past Bryant, 65-50


Postgame Interviews

Rhody Starters:

Melendez, Cloutier, Gaspar, Wallack, Thomas

Bryant Starters:
Ankoma-Mensa, Leahy, Whittington, Schissler, Douglass

Rhody Leaders:
Points: Melendez (18)
Rebounds: Tabakman (12) 
Assists: Melendez (5) 
Steals: Melendez (2)
Blocked Shots: Melendez (5)
Minutes Played: Melendez (35)

Bryant Leaders:
Points: Schissler (18)
Rebounds: Schissler (12) 
Assists: Schissler (2), Hinck (2), Bailey (2)
Steals: Bailey (3)
Blocked Shots: Leahy (1)
Minutes Played: Schissler (35)

How it Happened:
After trailing by six points (21-15) with 5:28 remaining in the first half, Rhode Island rallied back and took a 28-24 lead into the break. The Rams remained on top through the beginning of the second half, but Bryant chipped away at the lead and maintained a 42-39 advantage at the 10:00 mark. From there, Rhody closed things out on a 26-8 tear that sealed up the Rams' first win since Nov. 16, 2011.

Inside the Box Score:

  • With the win, Rhody improves to 1-1 while Bryant drops to 0-2.
  • The victory also snapped a 27-game losing streak for the Rams, dating back to last season.
  • The 15-point win was the Rhode Island's largest margin of victory since defeating Mississippi Valley State, 63-46, on Dec. 30, 2008.
  • Freshman Tayra Melendez led URI with 18 points, five blocks and five assists. She also grabbed eight rebounds and had a pair of steals in a team-leading 35 minutes on the floor.
  • Freshman Samantha Tabakman was the Rams' top rebounder for the second game in a row, finishing the night with 12 boards.
  • Junior Emilie Cloutier also scored in double figures for Rhode Island, netting 11 points and adding five rebounds.
  • The Rams shot 42.9% (24-56) from the field while holding the Bulldogs to a 25% (15-60) showing on the night.
  • Rhode Island also held a 46-40 rebounding advantage and dished out 17 assists while committing just 12 turnovers.
  • Bryant, meanwhile, turned the ball over 13 times and finished with seven assists.
  • Rhode Island's freshmen accounted for 34 of the team's 65 points (Melendez-18, Tabakman-8, Bullard-6, Thomas-2).
  • The game featured seven lead changes and eight ties.
  • Bryant never led by more than six points, and relinquished the advantage for good midway through the second half when a free throw by sophomore Teneka Whittaker tied things up at 42-42 with 9:34 left to play.
  • Courtney Schissler (18) and Naana Ankoma-Mensa (10) both scored in double figures for the Bulldogs.

What's Next:
Rhody returns to the Ryan Center for a Saturday evening tilt with Siena. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. Rhode Island is 4-1 in the all-time series vs. the Saints. The last time the teams met - on Nov. 19, 2011 - Siena posted a 73-65 win in Loudonville, N.Y.