Rhode Island Shoots Past Houston Baptist, 59-36, at TD Bank Classic

Rhode Island Shoots Past Houston Baptist, 59-36, at TD Bank Classic

Rhody Starters:
Melendez, Wallack, Cloutier, Thomas, Gaspar

Houston Baptist Starters:
Jefferson, Arthur, Essien, Pugh, Nwanguma

Rhody Leaders:
Points: Cloutier (16)
Rebounds: Straumann (8)
Assists: Whittaker (3), Thomas (3)
Steals: Whittaker (4)
Blocked Shots: Tabakman (1), Johnson (1)
Minutes Played: Cloutier (30)

Houston Baptist Leaders:
Points: Steenholdt (15)
Rebounds: Steenholdt (8)
Assists: Arthur (2), Jefferson (2)
Steals: Steenholdt (2), Essien (2)
Blocked Shots: Steenholdt (1), Essien (1), McGarrachan (1)
Minutes Played: McGarrachan (29), Arthur (29)

How it Happened:
Rhode Island took control early on, jumping out to a 14-3 lead over the opening 11 minutes. Houston Baptist did not register its second make from the field until netting a three-pointer which made it 14-6 at the 8:49 mark. From there, Rhody used a 9-0 run to open up a 17-point lead (23-6) and headed into the break up 27-18. The Rams carried the momentum over into the second frame - moving in front by 20 (52-32) after a Megan Straumann three-pointer with six minutes left to play - and eventually finished on top 59-36. 

Inside the Box Score:

  • With the win, Rhody improves to 3-5 while Houston Baptist falls to 2-8.
  • The 59-36 win marks the second time this season that URI kept an opponent under 40 points. The other was a 47-39 win over Siena on Nov. 17.
  • It also marks URI's best defensive performance since defeating Boston University, 58-35, on Feb. 27, 1978.
  • The Rams led for the entire game. HBU cut Rhody's lead to nine (33-24) three and a half minutes into the second half, but Rhody pushed it back to double digits and led by 11-or-more the rest of the way.
  • Rhode Island finished 44.2% (23-52) from the field and 73.3% (11-15) from the foul line. Houston Baptist, meanwhile, shot just 28.3% (13-46) from the field and was 8-of-13 (61.5%) from the line.
  • The Rams also held a 40-26 rebounding advantage, paced by Strauman's game- and career-high eight boards.
  • Emilie Cloutier (16), Tayra Melendez (11) and Samantha Tabakman (10) all scored in double figures for the Rams.
  • Brianna Thomas finished with six points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Teneka Whittaker also dished out three assists while adding six points and a game-best four steals.
  • Shanice Steenholdt led the Huskies with 15 points and eight rebounds.

What's Next:
Rhody returns home to the Ryan Center to square off against Delaware in a nationally-televised game (ESPN3) on Wednesday night. The Blue Hens are led by All-American Elena Delle Donne, who registered 22 points and eight rebounds in her first game back after battling illness. Rhody is 1-2 all time vs. Delaware, most recently falling to Blue Hens, 89-53, in last year's season opener (Nov. 11, 2011).