The University of Rhode Island’s Women’s Basketball team struggled to catch a win in their season opener at the Ryan Center Saturday afternoon, falling short to the Providence Friars 76-50. 

The last time both teams squared off it resulted in a 58-51 victory in favor of the Friars at the 2019 Ocean State Tipoff. Since then, the Ram’s roster has seen some adjustments after losing a majority of last year’s starters. Second-year Head Coach Tammi Reiss has welcomed four new players in her starting five: Lya Farcy, Johanna Muzet, Marie-Paule Foppossi and Emmanuelle Tahane. Marta Vargas was the only returning player for the University of Rhode Island to start in Saturday’s matchup. 

Providence built momentum early on after scoring 11 points straight. Foppossi, a transfer forward from Syracuse, got Rhody’s first points on the board at the free-throw line. The Rams trailed behind the entirety of the first quarter, with a minimum deficit of eight. 

It wasn’t until the second quarter the Rams got remotely close to catching up to their arch enemy. After a nice 7-0 run, a layup by Vargas put the Rams behind by two. Also contributing to this performance was the effortless three-point jumper from freshman Catherine Cairns and back-to-back layups by the game’s highest scorer in Foppossi, who scored a career-high 17 points. The transfer from Syracuse finally got her debut on the court as a Ram after being benched last season awaiting a waiver genting eligibility that never came. 

Providence quickly responded with a 9-2 run in their favor with a steal coming off of Mary Baskerville and a three-point swish from Alyssa Geary. Rhode Island trailed behind 41-32 as the second quarter came to a close.

Baskerville was Providence’s top scorer, putting up 16 points and also grabbing seven boards. The junior ranks first in the Big East conference in blocked shots, averaging 1.82 per game through two games. The Friars opened their season this past Wednesday, where they were defeated 71-65 by Quinnipiac University. 

Rhode Island solely relied on their offense all of the first half, but that wasn’t cutting it. Going into the locker room, they shot perfectly from three-point territory. Yet only 50 percent from field goal range, 14 of these points came from inside the paint. 

The Friars owned the court the second half. They held the Rams scoreless for four minutes and 43 seconds at the start of the fourth quarter, building a 21-point lead. That was not their largest lead of the game though, as that came with just two minutes to go in the fourth quarter in what was a 28-point margin. 

Due to technical difficulties, the post-game press conference could not be executed via Zoom. 

The Rams will travel to Penn State for their next matchup on Thursday, Dec. 3, for their first road game of the season.