The University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team bounced back after a 14-point road loss last Sunday at St. Bonaventure to beat Atlantic 10 foe Saint Joseph’s 63-61 in overtime.
The Rams (14-9, 6-5 Atlantic 10 Conference) would go up two in the final seconds of the half after a 3-pointer from senior Sydney Lewis. Saint Joseph’s forward Ashley Robinson responded when she got the game-tying putback to go as time waned off the clock, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime both teams would have trouble scoring, but another key 3-pointer from Lewis would ultimately seal the deal, as the Rams would hold the Hawks to just three points in the extra period. The Rams did just enough, however, scoring five points in the overtime period.
“We just were very disciplined and tried to stick to our game and disrupt them,” Rhode Island head coach La-Force said. “I really thought the kids did a great job.
In the first half the Rams came out firing on all cylinders jumping out to an early 15-6 advantage on the back of five quick points from freshman Charise Wilson. The Hawks, behind a solid showing from Kathlee Fitzpatrick, had eight of the first 17 points for the Hawks to cut the lead down to six. Just before the half though, the Rams would tack on another two points to their lead, giving them a 27-19 lead going into the half.
“I think we just tried to stick to our game plan” La-Force said. “We made note of our mistakes last game and I think we really cleaned it up tonight.”
The Rams held the Hawks to just 29 percent shooting from the field, including one 3-point field goal in eight attempts. Â Rhode Island shot just 34 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc, with Wilson accounting for two of their three makes.
In the second half the Rams once again started fast offensively, scoring 14 points in the first six minutes expanding their lead to 11 points. The early damage was done by Wilson who chipped in six of those 14, but also contributing early on was junior guard Symone Bullard who matched Wilson with six.
“We tried to hit them really fast in the second half because they are a good team” Bullard said. “We just tried to get the fire going.”
After the lead swelled to 41-30 the Hawks once again had an answer going on a 9-3 run to close the gap to just five at 44-39. Their run was also led by Fitzpatrick, who had five of their nine points during the run. The Hawks would then tie the game at 48 for the first time since early on in the game.
“My coach and team support me and if I can shoot with confidence for them I want to do that” Wilson said. “I thought we really came out with a winning mentality and came out and just really tried to play defense.”
The Rams next play on Sunday at the Thomas R. Ryan Center as they take on Fordham, who currently sit in second place in the Atlantic 10.