Rams Fall to Highlanders, 48-44

Rams Fall to Highlanders, 48-44

Rhody Starters:
Melendez, Boone, Cloutier, Thomas, Gaspar

NJIT Starters:
Olson, Johnson, Griffin, Dweck, Nwankwo

Rhody Leaders:
Points: Melendez (12)
Rebounds: Gaspar (10)
Assists: Thomas (4)
Steals: Thomas (1)
Blocked Shots: Melendez, Cloutier, Lewis, Tabakman (1)
Minutes Played: Melendez (33)

NJIT Leaders:
Points: Johnson (18)
Rebounds: Johnson (10)
Assists: Albanese (3)
Steals: Maticka, Matejcikova (2)
Blocked Shots: Maticka (3)
Minutes Played: Johnson (33)

How it Happened:
Both teams got off to a slow start with NJIT holding on to a 9-8 lead midway through the first half. The Highlanders finished the period on top, 21-19, connecting on 8-of-32 (25%) attempts from the field. Rhode Island also shot 25-percent (8-of-32) but was 2-6 from the foul line while NJIT was a perfect 4-4.

Rhode Island reclaimed the lead in the second half and held on to a 33-32 advantage with 7:37 on the clock. However, NJIT's Denisa Domiterova went on to score eight consecutive points to give the Highlanders a seven-point lead (40-33) with 5:48 left to play. 

With NJIT up 45-37, Tayra Melendez made a basket for URI and was fouled on the play. She missed the extra-point attempt, but Lara Gaspar scooped up the rebound and made a layup to get the Rams within four (45-41) with 1:23 remaining in regulation. From there, NJIT went 3-6 from the line to move in front 48-41. Samantha Tabakman scored the Rams' final three points with 00:06 on the clock, but URI was unable to force a turnover on the ensuing possession and as a result, fell 48-44.

Inside the Box Score:

  • With the loss, Rhode Island drops to 5-8 while NJIT improves to 7-8.
  • Tayra Melendez was Rhody's top scorer for the second game in row, finishing the afternoon with 12 points and five rebounds.
  • Lara Gaspar recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams' first double-double of the season.
  • Overall, URI outrebounded NJIT (43-39) and shot 32.8% (19-58) from the field while the Highlanders were just 15-of-53.
  • NJIT made up for its 28.3-percent showing by hitting 14-of-18 attempts from the line, where Rhody was just 5-for-10.
  • Rayven Johnson led all players with a game-high 18 points for the Highlanders.

What's Next:
The Rams are back in action on Jan. 3 when they travel to Northeastern for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Huskies.