Rhode Island Looks for Third Straight Win in Opening Round of A-10 Championship

Rhode Island Looks for Third Straight Win in Opening Round of A-10 Championship

THE BASICS
No. 14 Rhode Island: 6-22
No. 3 Saint Joseph's: 15-13 
Location: Hagan Arena – Phialdelphia, Pa.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 25
Tip-off Time: 2 p.m. EST

COVERAGE
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RHODE ISLAND VS. SAINT JOSEPH'S - SERIES NOTES

  • Saturday will be the 62nd meeting all time between Rhode Island and Saint Joseph's, and the second meeting this season.
  • The teams have met seven times previously in the Atlantic 10 Championship, with Saint Joseph's holding a 5-2 edge.
  • This is the second consecutive season the teams will meet in the opening round of the tournament. Last year, Rhode Island defeated Saint Joseph's 81-76 in the first round.
  • The winner of Saturday's game will play the winner of No. 6 La Salle-No. 11 St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Richmond Coliseum.
  • Rhode Island enters the game having won two straight games. 
  • Saint Joseph's comes into the game winners of four straight games. The Hawks have won eight of their last nine games overall, a stretch that began with the victory over Rhode Island on Jan. 25.
  • Both teams rely heavily on the 3-point shot. Saint Joseph's is the top 3-point shooting team in the Atlantic 10, shooting .352 from beyond the arc as a team. While the Hawks are more efficient from deep, the Rams produce more volume, making 179 3-pointers as a team this season, fifth most in the conference.
  • Rhode Island juniors Charise Wilson and Morgan Johnson average 2.4 and 1.7 3-pointers per contest, respectively. For Saint Joseph's, Alyssa Monaghan averages 2.1 3-pointers per game and sophomore Sarah Veilleux makes 1.6 per game. Veilleux also leads the league with a .413 shooting percentage from 3-point range.

RHODE ISLAND AT THE ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Rhode Island is 15-30 all time at the Atlantic 10 Championship.
  • The Rams have won their first game in the tournament each of the last two seasons. Before that, Rhody had not won a game in the A-10 championship since 2009.
  • Saturday's winner will advance to the quarterfinals. Rhode Island has advanced to the quarterfinals 18 times in program history.
  • The last time Rhode Island won multiple games in the A-10 championship was 2003, when the Rams beat Dayton, Saint Joseph's and Xavier to reach the championship game for the second time in team history. Rhody fell to George Washington in the title game.
  • Rhode Island has reached the Atlantic 10 championship game twice in program history, in 1984 and 2003.
  • The Rams have never won the tournament. They fell to Penn State 99-64 in the 1984 final and then 56-49 to George Washington in 2003.

MOTRECHUK BLOCKS SIX SHOTS AGAIN

  • Sophomore Dina Motrechuk leads the Atlantic 10 and ranks 20th in the country with 65 blocked shots.
  • Motrechuk averages 2.5 blocks per game, the 23rd best average in the nation.
  • She has 10 more blocks than any other A-10 player.
  • Against UMass on Feb. 22, she tied the program record with six blocked shots. It was the third time this season she has had six in a game.
  • She is the only Rhody player to do it more than once.Motrechuk has four or more blocks in eight games.
  • Her 65 blocks are the third most in a season in program history.
  • She is the first Ram in 36 years to record 50 in a season, dating back to when Naomi Graves had 76 in 1980-81.
  • Graves is the only Ram to top Motrechuk in a single season. She had 77 in 1979-80 and 76 in 1980-81.

JORGENSEN SAVES HER BEST FOR LAST

  • Freshman Nicole Jorgensen played arguably her best game in the regular season finale, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, blocking five shots and getting two steals against UMass on Feb. 22.
  • The performance came after Jorgensen was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week after averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots over two games the previous week.
  • Jorgensen is second on the team with 9.3 points per game and leads the Rams with 6.4 rebounds per game in conference play.
  • At George Mason on Feb. 15, she scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting.
  • In the non-conference portion of the schedule, Jorgensen averaged 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Rhode Island is second in the A-10 with 5.6 blocked shots per game and has blocked 158 shots on the season. 
  • Rhody has blocked five or more shots 16 times.
  • Junior Charise Wilson is fifth in team history with 302 career assists.
  • Wilson has 167 career steals and needs just one more to reach 50 for the third consecutive season.
  • Wilson is eighth in team history with 2,836 minutes played in 81 games, an average of 35.0 minutes per contest.