Women’s basketball pick up their first-ever WNIT win despite season-low shooting

Tenin Magassa put up a team-high 12 points in Friday’s win. PHOTO CREDIT: gorhody.com

The Rhode Island Rams women’s basketball team defeated the Boston University Terriers by a score of 46-40 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) on Friday. 

With the victory over the Terriers, the Rams were able to claim their first ever postseason victory in program history. 

The first quarter started slow for both the Rams and the Terriers as they scored a combined 15 points, with the Rams leading 11-4 after the first 10 minutes. Both URI and BU started  shooting 0-7 from the field, with the Rams ending the first quarter shooting 18.7%, or 3-16. Fifth-year guard Madison Hattix-Covington led the way in the first quarter with four points on four free throws. 

Postgame, head coach Tammi Reiss discussed the poor shooting, 

“I don’t think I’ve seen a game where we’ve shot that poorly,” Reiss said. “To get 75 shots is really really good, to make 17 of them, not so good.” 

The shooting struggles continued into the second quarter, where the Rams shot 3-19 from the field, a low 15.8%. Terriers third-year forward Caitlin Weimar scored seven points in the second quarter, easily the most for the second period of play between the two teams. She shot 3-5 from the field, while also grabbing five rebounds en route to Boston University taking a 19-17 lead over URI at the half.  

Postgame, Reiss discussed the break between games from the Atlantic 10 (A-10) tournament to the first game of the WNIT, a 13 day break. 

“I thought we were a little bit rusty from the A-10 tournament, we haven’t played in quite a few days,” Reiss said. “Although we have scrimaged a little bit, it’s just not the same.” 

The third quarter was an improvement for the Rams as they shot 38.1%, or 8-21, from the field. The difference in the third quarter was the Rams defensive effort. Rhode Island forced the Terriers to shoot 3-14 from the field, a low 21.4%. When the team was down at half, she continued to preach her message to the team to do the fundamentals, rebound and defend. Postgame she discussed how offense was hard to come by and how her team needed to continue to do the basics. 

“You can’t make too much of it,” Reiss said. “If you defend and rebound you’ll win.” 

With the Rams outsourcing BU 18-9 in the third quarter, they jumped out to a 36-27 lead going into the fourth quarter. First-year forward Anaelle Dutat came up with three steals in the second half which helped the Rams hold their lead. With URI having the nine point lead after three periods of play, all they needed to do was continue the basics Reiss had preached from day one, rebounding and defense.  The Rams did just that, not allowing the Terriers to out rebound them in the fourth quarter with both teams grabbing 13 boards apiece. Boston University did outscore the Rams in the 10 minutes of play though, 13-10. The Terriers made an effort to get back into it, but Rhode Island held on to claim their first postseason victory in the program’s history. After the game, Rams third-year forward Mayé Touré discussed what it meant to her to be a part of this historic team. 

“It means alot, it’s great,” she said. “It’s just one more game, we’re really looking forward to going the farthest we can go.” 

With the victory Rhode Island would go on to face A-10 rival Richmond on Monday, in their second meeting of the year.