Photo from gorhody.com

The past few weeks have not been kind to the University of Rhode Island’s women’s basketball team. After a 47-42 victory against George Mason on Feb. 1, the team has lost five of their last seven games and have dropped to a game under .500. 

The team had a chance to secure its first-ever first round home Atlantic 10 tournament game, but that chance went away when they dropped their last game against George Washington. 

The Rams had a final chance to gain some necessary momentum heading into tournament play when they headed up to Amherst to face the UMass Minutewomen. During the two teams last outing on Jan. 19, the Rams ended the Minutewomen’s 11-game winning streak in part to four Rams in double-figures. This time, the Minutewomen would get their revenge. 

The Rams would play from behind from the very beginning. In the second quarter, the Rams would cut the UMass lead to three thanks to a three-pointer from Brazil Harvey-Carr. UMass would put together an 8-2 run in the middle of the quarter to push their lead to nine. The Rams were able to hold the Minutewomen scoreless for the final 3:45 of the first half and cut the deficit back to three. 

Another cold second half would be the difference in this game for the Rams. Minutewoman senior Hailey Leidel led the team on an 11-2 run coming out of the break that extended their lead to 10. From here, UMass pushed its advantage to as much as 23 early in the fourth quarter. Rhody would drop its fourth game in a row with a 73-53 loss to UMass. 

The only Ram in double-figures was Nicole Jorgensen, who finished with 22 points. She was followed by Harvey-Carr, who finished with eight points. 

For UMass, they were led by Leidel, who finished with a game-high 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter. She was followed by junior Sam Breen, who finished with 17 points. 

With the loss against UMass, the Rams would finish as the 11th seed in the conference and head to Duquesne for the first round of the A-10 Women’s Basketball Tournament. The two teams played each other two weeks ago, where the Rams fell 72-62. Davida Dale led the way in the last matchup with a game-high 27 points. Duquense would make it 2-for-2 this season against Rhode Island. 

The game was balanced heading into the first media timeout with score locked at 11, but the Dukes were able to go on a 6-0 run to give themselves a 17-11 lead heading into the second quarter. Rhody would counter with a 6-0 run of their own in the second period to cut the deficit to four, but that would be as close as they would get. The Dukes would go on an 11-2 run to end the half to give themselves a 32-19 lead. 

In the second half, Duquesne picked up where they left off in the first half extending their lead to as much as 20. They would go on to defeat the Rams 70-53. 

For the Rams, Nicole Jorgensen led the way for a second consecutive game with 31 points. She was followed by Erin Jones, who finished with 10. 

For the Dukes, junior guard Amanda Kalin led the way with 24 points. She was followed by Laia Sole, who finished with 12 points. 

After the game, Women’s Head Basketball Coach Tammi Reiss took to social media to thank her team for their effort this season. 

“Last night, we played our final game together, Reiss tweeted. “Not how we wanted it to end. I am forever thankful to this group of young women for believing, buying in and giving everything they had.”

The Rams finish out the 2019-20 campaign with a 13-16 record and a 6-10 record in A-10 play. This is a huge improvement compared to the eight games they won the previous season and is the most games they have won in a season since 2014-15. Nicole Jorgensen would finish as the team’s leading scoring with 16 PPG, the third most in the conference.