An injury-stricken backcourt resulted in a pair of losses for the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team this week.
First, Rhode Island took a trip down to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they fell to Duquesne University before returning home to Kingston where they suffered their second loss to the University of Richmond.
On Saturday, the Rams took on the Dukes in a battle for fifth place in the Atlantic 10. Rhode Island came into this game at 15-8, following wins against La Salle University and the University of Massachusetts. Despite a late comeback effort by Rhode Island, they fell to Duquesne by a score of 70-61.
The Rams played without fifth-year Teisha Hyman and eventually second-year guard Ines Debroise, who went down with an injury less than a minute into the game. The second and fourth quarters saw difficulties for Rhode Island due to a lack of offense as a result of injuries in their backcourt.
The end of the first quarter saw the Rams and Dukes knotted up at 15 points each, but a 13-6 second quarter in favor of Duquesne had them ahead of Rhode Island by a score of 28-21 at the half.
A shootout in the second half saw the Rams and Dukes combine for 47 points, and just before the end of the third quarter, fourth-year transfer Tenin Magassa scored a basket with just a few seconds left to bring the Rams within five at 49-44. However, that was the closest Rhode Island could come up until the last minute of the game.
Throughout the last quarter, Duquesne kept the Rams at a distance. With 6:31 remaining, third-year Megan McConnell made a basket to bring the Dukes up to a lead of 64-50. Rhode Island put in one last push in the last few possessions. With 47 seconds remaining, fifth-year guard Dee Dee Davis scored all nine points in a 9-0 rally, with all three buckets coming from three -pointers , to reduce the deficit to 64-61. Despite the late push led by Davis, the Rams fell just short, bringing their conference record to 7-4.
On Wednesday, Rhode Island fell to Richmond 68-49. The backcourt was lacking in this one as Debroise and Hyman were both ruled out prior to the game.
The story of this game was the three-point shooting of Richmond as they went 11-21 from beyond the arc. The Spiders started the game on fire, hitting four straight three-pointers and taking a 12-2 lead. They would finish the quarter with a total of six three-pointers on eight shots.
“Opening the game and giving four wide-open threes with a lack of second effort defensively is not who we are,” Rhode Island Head Coach Tammi Reiss said.
Rhode Island would be held to only seven points in the early stages, as the first quarter ended with Richmond up 22-7.
Rhode Island showed signs of life coming into the second quarter as they got off to a hot start with a 9-0 run, cutting their deficit to six points with five of the nine coming off turnovers.
“You have to have a sense of urgency and compete, so a little more energy is what we needed,” Reiss said.
Richmond, however, answered with an 8-0 run of their own to restore the lead to 30-16. From then on, things evened out, with Rhode Island able to close the gap to 11 at 34-23 at the half.
Through effective offensive play, the visiting Spiders put the game away in the third quarter. During the quarter, Richmond outscored Rhody 20-11, making five of eight field goals to go with a perfect 8-8 free throw shooting mark. The Rams were behind 20 points entering the final quarter and were never able to contest the result after that, eventually falling 68-49. Rhode Island fell to 15-10 on the season while Richmond improved to 20-4.
Davis led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Magassa scored 12 points on a perfect 4-4 mark from the field.
The Rams will look to get back in the win column against the reigning Atlantic 10 champions, Saint Louis University, this Sunday at noon. The game is available to be streamed on ESPN+.