Harvard Brings Close To Historic Season For URI Women In WNIT Super 16

University of Rhode Island Press Release

Rhode Island Starters
Cairns, Squires, Touré, Hattix-Covington, Lassiter

Harvard Starters
Forbes, Rodriguez, Turner, Mullaney, Glenn

How it Happened
Late-game execution hurt Rhode Island, as URI’s magical season ended with a 74-63 loss at Harvard in the Super 16 of the WNIT Thursday night.

Rhode Island (26-7) led 60-56 with just under six minutes remaining, but the Rams committed eight turnovers in the fourth quarter. This helped Harvard (20-11) outscore Rhody 22-7 over the final 5:36 to pull out the win. The Crimson advanced to the Great 8, where it will face the winner of Friday’s game between Syracuse and Columbia.

The game opened at a breakneck pace, with the teams stepping on the gas from the start. Harvard led by as many as eight points after Sariyah Glenn hit a 3-pointer to make the score 15-7. From there, Rhode Island ended the quarter with a 17-4 run. Sophie Phillips sparked the Rams with 11 first-quarter points while hitting 3-of-4 from long range. The Rams led 24-19 by the end of the period.

After Harvard got a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, Rhody went on a 9-0 run. Mayé Touré scored four points during the run, which also included a long 3-pointer from Sayawni Lassiter and a jumper from Madison Hattix-Covington. Hattix-Covington’s shot forced a timeout by Harvard as URI pushed its lead to double digits at 33-22. The lead was again back to 11 after Tenin Magassa hit back-to-back shots to make the score 39-28. However, this time it was Harvard’s turn to close on a run. The Crimson scored the final nine points of the half to close within two at 39-37 heading to the break. McKenzie Forbes had four points during the spurt to spark the Crimson.

The third quarter played much like the opening period, with both sides playing at a high level. After Touré scored the first basket of the half, Harvard got five straight points from Lola Mullaney to knot the score at 42-42. After missing a layup on offense, Hattix-Covington made a hustle play on the other end of the floor, chasing down a fastbreak and forcing a turnover from behind. On the ensuing URI possession, Hattix-Covington drained a 3-pointer for a 45-42 lead. The Crimson came back with a 10-6 stretch to take a 52-51 lead, the first Harvard lead since the first quarter. Phillips hit a long corner 3-pointer on Rhody’s next possession to get the lead back for the Rams, 54-52, and neither team scored over the final 2:25 of the quarter.

The drought continued for both sides through the first four minutes of the final quarter until Touré made a layup off a feed from Anaelle Dutat to put the Rams up 56-52. Harvard came to life. A Lola Mullaney 3-pointer kick started an 8-0 run as the Crimson pulled ahead 60-56. After a Rhody turnover led to a layup for Elena Rodriguez, Rhody called timeout with 4:41 to go, trailing 60-56. Unfortunately the Rams were unable to regain momentum. After a Dutat jumper got URI within 60-58, the Rams turned the ball over five times while also shooting 1-for-4 over the final 3:39 of the game. Harvard was 3-for-3 from the floor and 7-for-8 at the free throw line over the same stretch, securing its spot in the next round.

Inside the Box Score

  • In the season opener, Harvard defeated Rhode Island, 88-74. The Rams did not allow more than 73 points in any other game this season.
  • Rhody held Harvard to 74 points. The Crimson had averaged 96 per game in the first two rounds of the WNIT.
  • The Crimson executed at the free throw line, making 17-of-18, compared to 8-of-14 for URI.
  • Rhode Island’s bench outscored Harvard’s, 34-12.
  • Harvard had a 23-4 edge in fastbreak points.
  • The 33 games played for Rhode Island this season is a program record. Graduate students Sayawni Lassiter and Madison Hattix-Covington and junior Mayé Touré started all 33 contests.
  • Rhode Island committed just four turnovers in the first half, three of which came on offensive fouls.
  • Sophomore Sophie Phillips scored a team-high 20 points while making five 3-pointers.
  • Phillips ended the season with 77 3-pointers, the second highest single-season total in program history.
  • Junior Mayé Touré had 15 points, four rebounds and two steals.
  • Junior Tenin Magassa had nine points and four boards off the bench.
  • Graduate transfer Madison Hattix-Covington chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
  • Freshman Anaelle Dutat had four points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals in an exceptional 31 minutes off the bench. Dutat finished the season with 220 rebounds (6.7 per game) despite being a reserve in 31 of her 33 contests.

What’s Next
The 2023-24 season. Recharge and get ready.

Categories: College Sports, Sports