On Nov. 7, the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team opened the season with a loss at Harvard. One hundred thirty-six days later, the Rams ended their season with a loss to the Crimson on the same court.
What happened in between was no treadmill.
The 74-63 WNIT loss to Harvard last Thursday brought to a close one of the best seasons in URI women’s basketball history. The Rams set a new program record for victories, claimed the school’s first regular-season conference championship and won two games in the WNIT, the first postseason tournament victories in URI women’s basketball history. They finished the season at 26-7.
The ride seemed like it might continue for much of Thursday’s game. The Rams played better than they did in the first meeting with Harvard and led for much of the game. They were on top 39-37 at halftime and maintained the lead into the fourth quarter.
Then things went sideways. Harvard outscored the Rams 22-9 in the fourth quarter, rallying from a four-point deficit. Trailing by two with a little over three minutes left, they made just one of their last four shots and committed five turnovers. The Crimson surged to the finish for the 74-63 victory.
Sophie Phillips made five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 20 points. Maye Toure added 15 points. Tenin Magassa chipped in with nine and Madison Hattix-Covington scored eight.
Harvard had four in double figures, led by Lola Mullaney’s 19 points. Elena Rodriguez had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Crimson advanced to the round of eight, where they fell to Ivy League mate Columbia.
Rhody will bid farewell to Hattix-Covington, Emma Squires and Sayawni Lassiter, all of whom did one graduate year with the program. A good core should remain for next year, led by Toure, an all-conference selection, plus Phillips and Dolly Cairns, who finished third and fourth on the team in scoring.
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