The Rams earned a 67-50 victory Friday night against the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon to improve to 4-7 on the season.
At the start, the Rams came out on fire, outscoring UPRB 26-10 in the first quarter. For the game, the Rams shot 43.9 percent, including going 8-of-13 from three-point range.
In what was a balanced scoring effort from the Rams, junior guard Morgan Arden led the Rams with 12 points, while senior forward Liz Myers had her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Kayla Tibbs poured in another 10 points and freshman guard Lauren Reed had eight critical points in the winning effort. Clearly, UPRB had trouble containing the Rams’ guards all night long.
Defense was the real key in the outcome of the Rams’ victory, however, as the Rams forced UPRB into an astounding 20 turnovers. This led to 27 easy points that really helped shape the game’s outcome. Also, the reserve players stepped up in a big way, with 41 points that ultimately overwhelmed UPRB.
While UPRB forced 27 Rams’ turnovers themselves that led to 23 points for them, they really were not able to generate much of anything offensively against the Rams’ defense. For the game, UPRB shot 36.5 percent, going 2-of-16 from downtown. What really could have made the game much closer than the actual score was if UPRB could have converted their free throws: for the game, they shot 10-of-25 at the charity stripe. The problem was not getting to the free throw line, but actually executing their foul shots.
The Rams were dominant in the rebounding department, winning with a 49-26 advantage. They were able to hold most of UPRB’s possessions to one shot, preventing them from getting any second chance points.
After the game, Coach Eckleberry of the Rams commented on the game: “Today was a great team win. Everyone contributed in some aspect. It was a total team effort.”
Coach Eckleberry said the biggest factors in the outcome of the game were sharing the ball, as the Rams assisted on 20 of the 25 shots they made as a team. “We played great help and shell defense and forced them to shoot outside.”
In terms of the adjustments to make before their next game, Eckleberry said, “We got a break and the girls are going home so when they return just be focused right away and build on this great trip to Puerto Rico.”
The Rams will look to improve to 5-7 on the season when they take the court next against Virginia State on December 30 at the Butcher Center. The game starts at 5:30 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor for The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org