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Women’s basketball falls to URI 64-57 in back-and-forth game

Freshman guard Markayla Sherman scored 13 points in her first career start. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)

Kathryn Leeber
Connector Staff

Despite a hard-fought battle against the University of Rhode Island Rams, the UMass Lowell women’s basketball team could not keep a strong lead. The River Hawks record fell to 0-7 with the 64-57 loss against the Rams.

The exciting Tuesday night match up featured 6 lead changes, most of which came in the third period.

Freshman guard Markayla Sherman provided high energy for the team and added 13 points, which was a career high.

Junior forward Kayla Gibbs scored the most points for UMass Lowell with 15.

The game started off slow, but the River Hawks were able to apply a forceful defense early on. After the Rams won the tip-off, the River Hawks pressured them enough to nearly run out the shot clock. The defense from UMass Lowell is what allowed them to keep the game to a close score.

Both teams relied heavily on second-chance points off of rebounds. Senior forward Tyshay Britten had some important rebounds for the River Hawks that often turned the game in their favor. She also tied Sherman in number of points in this game, as well as achieving a new career high, with 13 points.

With 7:24 remaining in the first half, the River Hawks were up 16 to 9. URI made a strong attempt to come back, and this was when Charise Wilson really took off for the Rams. With an astounding 31 points, Wilson led the team in their win.

The start of the second half was when both teams really stepped up their intensity. With more tenacity came more fouls, and they would continue until the end of the game.

The back-and-forth nature of the game was most prevalent in the third quarter and the lead changed several times. The first half contained hardly any fouls and no free throws, but the second half was an entirely different story.

Towards the end of the third quarter, both teams were in the bonus, meaning subsequent fouls would allow the other team to take free throws. This would again happen in the fourth quarter.

“It was a good, physical game. I think there were really good match-ups and players going hand-to-hand. The physicality just came from both teams really wanting to win,” said head coach Jenerrie Harris.

Sherman spoke about her intensity and enthusiasm in the game, citing URI’s Wilson in particular, as someone she knew she had to pay attention to. “My mentality was to get stops on defense and stop [Wilson]. In the third quarter my team was hyped, I was hyped, so my thought was to just get a win,” said Sherman.

Coach Harris spoke about the promising nature of the game. “The second half, I thought we did a decent job of playing with them, but we needed to win that last quarter, and we just didn’t put up enough points,” said coach Harris.

The Rams beat the River Hawks with fast breaks; they had 11 and UMass Lowell did not have any. Even with a seemingly strong game from Wilson, she did run into trouble with UMass Lowell’s Britten.

The two got tied up over a jump ball and when neither were willing to let go, the referees had to step in to break them up. This led to them each receiving a technical foul in the beginning of the fourth quarter. At this point, the game was incredibly close, 46-45 URI.

The alternating action and lead changes would continue almost to the very end of the game, but the Rams were able to pull ahead with a few three-pointers.

The team looks to find their first win as they travel to New York to take on Columbia.

“Our record shows we’re 0-and-7, but this is definitely not an 0-and-7 team and the more we play, the better we’re going to get,” said coach Harris.

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