Hot-Shooting Vargas Leads Rhody Past La Salle, 72-63

Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard
Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard

Rhode Island Starters
Ross, Moffitt, Vargas, Streeter, Jorgensen

La Salle Starters
Edwards, A. Miller, Griffin, S. Miller, Freeland

How it Happened
Freshman Marta Vargas poured in a career-high 26 points, leading Rhode Island (3-17, 1-6 A-10) to a 72-63 victory over La Salle Saturday afternoon at the Ryan Center. The win snapped Rhode Island's nine-game losing streak dating back to early December.

La Salle got off to a hot start, scoring straight points to open the game and leading 9-4 after a 3-pointer by Adreana Miller with 6:17 on the clock. Rhode Island used a 14-4 run to close out the quarter though, leading 19-13 after 10 minutes of play.

The Explorers tied things up at 25-25 midway through the second period, and led by as many as six (33-27) after a three-point play by Sofilia Ngwafang. Rhody closed the gap in the final minutes however, as a pair of free throws by Jalissa Ross, followed by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Marta Vargas, sent the Rams into the break trailing 33-32.

The Rams came out of the locker room and used a 13-6 push to move back in front by six after another pair of makes from the line by Ross. An Amy Griffin jumper got La Salle back within two (46-44) with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter, but Rhody ended the frame on top 53-46.

The Explorers fought their way back in the fourth and tied things up at 54-54 before pulling ahead on a Griffin jumper with 6:54 remaining, but it was all Rhody the rest of the way. URI outscored La Salle 18-7 through the remainder of regulation to cruise to the 72-63 win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Freshman Marta Vargas led all players with a game-high 26 points. She was 7-of-12 from the field - including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range - and connected on nine of her 12 free throw attempts. Vargas also dished out a pair of assists and had two steals for the Rams.
  • Junior Jalissa Ross nearly double-doubled, registering 14 points and nine rebounds to go along with two assists.
  • Sophomore Nicole Jorgensen also scored in double figures for the Rams, finishing with 10 points in 17 minutes before fouling out. She also added four boards, one block and one steal.
  • Freshman Maia Moffitt recorded a game- and career- best four steals while also registering five points, three rounds and two assists.
  • As a team, Rhode Island was 44.4 percent (24-54) from the field, marking the team's best shooting percentage in its last 10 games played.
  • URI also connected on a season-best 54.5 percent of its 3-point attempts, hitting six of its 11 shots from behind the arc.
  • Rhode Island held a 34-33 edge in rebounding and recorded 10 steals to La Salle's five.
  • The Rams also forced the Explorers into 23 turnovers and scored 33 points off those miscues.

Stat of the Game
26 -
The 26 points scored by freshman Marta Vargas were the most any Rhode Island player in a game this season.

Up Next
Rhode Island is back in action on Wednesday afternoon at George Washington. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 11 a.m.