BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior guard Jessa Rubera (Newton, Mass.) scored 19 points including five three-pointers to lead the visiting Rhode Island College women's basketball team to a 66-55 come-from-behind win over Bridgewater State University on Tuesday evening at the Tinsley Center.
The Anchorwomen, who trailed by as many as 17 points, remain unbeaten on the young season as they improve to 4-0. RIC has won each of the last four meetings held at the Tinsley Center between the two teams. The Bears fall to 1-2 on the year.
Rubera connected on 5 of 9 three-pointers with all five successful trifectas coming in the second half. She also added three rebounds and a pair of steals. Sophomore guard Jordyn Gauvin (Fall River, Mass.) contributed 17 points four boards and two steals for the Anchorwomen who also received a double-double effort of 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from sophomore forward Ornela Livramento (Pawtucket, R.I.). Six of Livramento's 13 boards came off the offensive glass and she also recorded a game-best four steals.
Freshman forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) paced Bridgewater State with a game-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds and a blocked shot. Senior forward Chanelle Melton (Brockton, Mass.) added 11 points, a pair of rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes off the bench, while senior guard Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) checked in with eight points, two rebounds and a game-best seven assists.
The Bears jumped out to a 14-4 lead as they held the Anchorwomen to just one field goal and forced five turnovers over the first seven minutes of the game. Fitzgerald scored six points during the game-opening run while Melton added four. Bridgewater would hold a 19-9 advantage after one period of play.
An 11-2 run capped off by a Janet Maher (Mansfield, Mass.) jumper and three-pointer extended the BSU lead to 30-13 with 2 ½ minutes left to play in the first half. The Bears would ultimately hold a 34-20 advantage at the break.
Fitzgerald led all players with ten first-half points, while Page scored eight and Maher added seven.
The BSU defense held the Anchorwomen to 6-for-29 shooting over the first 20 minutes and the Bears' defense forced 12 turnovers. Bridgewater shot 52% (15-29) from the floor in the first half, but also turned the ball over nine times and committed eight fouls. RIC went 8-for-10 from the free throw line over the first two quarters.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Rubera to open the second half jumpstarted an RIC rally as the Anchorwomen outscored the Bears 26-12 in the third quarter. Consecutive trifectas from Rubera completed the comeback and knotted the score at 44-44 with 1:14 remaining in the period. Each team scored a basket in the final minute as the game was tied at 46-46 heading into the fourth.
The early stages of the fourth quarter saw two ties and one lead change. A Gauvin jumper with 5:38 remaining put RIC up to stay and Rubera followed that up with a layup to make it a four-point game, 54-50. Melton converted a traditional three-point play to pull the Bears to within one with 4:03 left on the scoreboard. The Bears had back-to-back chances to take the lead, but turned the ball over on both possessions. Rubera then drained another three-pointer to put the visitors up 57-53 with 2:15 remaining. RIC would go 7-for-8 at the free throw line the rest of the way as the Anchorwomen pulled away for the 66-55 victory
It was clearly a tale of two halves for the Anchorwomen who shot 63% (17-27) from the floor over the final 20 minutes including 5-for-8 from behind the arc. RIC also forced 14 turnovers in the second half which led directly to 18 points.
Bridgewater State shot 47% (24-51) for the game but made just seven trips to the free throw line (5-for-7). RIC went 15-for-19 (79%) at the charity stripe.
The Bears entertain the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth next Tuesday night at seven, while the Anchorwomen travel to Roger Williams University on Sunday afternoon for a four o'clock game with the Hawks.