Hot-Shooting Rams Drop Heartbreaker at UMass, 68-67

Hot-Shooting Rams Drop Heartbreaker at UMass, 68-67

Rhody Starters
Lassiter, Ross, Wilson, M. Johnson, Motrechuk

UMass Starters
Mulligan, Holder, Stiff, Leidel, McDerment

How It Happened

Rhode Island had a chance to win on the final possession of the game, but Massachusetts stole the inbounds pass and escaped with a 68-67 win over the Rams Wednesday night.

The Rams (4-11, 0-3 A-10) led 67-64 on a 3-pointer from Ednaija Lassiter with 2:48 to go. However, the host Minutewomen (7-9, 1-2 A-10) scored the final four points of the night as freshman Hailey Leidel hit two free throws and a short jumper in the final minutes to lead the late rally.

UMass jumped out early, using an 11-0 run to help establish a 10-point lead at 18-8. Rhody responded with an 8-2 run of its own and managed to close the gap to 24-21 by the end of the period. Morgan Johnson and Charise Wilson combined for 19 points and five 3-pointers in the quarter to lead the offense.

Rhody twice managed to take a one-point lead in the second quarter, the last time coming on Lassiter's 3-pointer to make the score 34-33. However, the Minutewomen ended the half on a 9-3 run to head into the break up 42-37.

The Rams kept chipping away in the third quarter, taking a 52-51 lead on a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Wilson. The junior captain added a 3-pointer just before the third quarter buzzer to give Rhody a 55-53 lead, setting up the tight finish in the final period.

Inside the Box Score

  • Rhode Island made a program-record 15 3-pointers. Juniors Charise Wilson and Morgan Johnson had six and five, respectively, and freshman Ednaija Lassiter added four. 
  • It was the third time this season Rhody has made 11 or more from beyond the arc. 
  • Five different players set or tied career highs for minutes played. Junior Morgan Johnson played the entire 40 minutes, while sophomore Jalissa Ross played 31 minutes. Sophomore Josie Chaves (19) and freshman Ednaija Lassiter (24) also played career-high minutes, while sophomore Dina Motrechuk matched her best with 26 minutes. 
  • Junior Charise Wilson continued her torrid scoring stretch, putting up 26 points. She moved past Tanya Rhodes (1,281 from 2002-06) into eighth place on Rhody's all-time scoring list with 1,287 career points.
  • In addition to playing the entire game, junior Morgan Johnson scored a career-high 15 points. She added three rebounds, three assists and one block.
  • Freshman Ednaija Lassiter scored a career-high 12 points in her first career start. She also set new career highs with five rebounds and four 3-pointers.
  • Sophomore Dina Motrechuk was the fourth Ram in double figures, scoring 10 points. She also blocked five shots, her sixth time this season with four or more blocks in a game. 
  • Sophomore Josie Chaves had a career-high six assists.
  • Sophomore Jalissa Ross had six rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end. She also had two steals and two assists.
  • Rhode Island matched its season best with 19 assists while committing just 12 turnovers. 
  • Wednesday's starting lineup was the sixth different starting five the Rams have had this season.
  • Rhode Island had eight blocked shots, compared to none for UMass.

Stat of the Game
14 – The teams combined to use only 14 players in the game. Rhode Island used eight players, while UMass played with six.

What's Next
Rhode Island is back on the road for an Atlantic 10 contest Monday night at La Salle. The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network, with a 7 p.m. tipoff.