Friday night was a memorable one in Kingston, as the Rams defeated Alabama 93-79 in the first time an SEC team has ever traveled to the Ryan Center. The Rams were lead by their veteran backcourt, as Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell combined for 43 points.
After a bit of a slow start, Rhode Island took their first lead of the game with just under 15 minutes in the first half and kept it for the rest of the way. The lead stretched to 22 late in the first half after a long stretch where the Rams outscored the Tide 25-6, and entered the half leading 50-33. Dowtin finished the half with 15 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field, while Russell had 12 at the break.
The dominant first half was due in large part to the Rams causing problems on the defensive end, as Alabama had 13 turnovers in the first half, and finished with a total of 22 for the game. URI scored 19 points off of those first half turnovers, and 33 total.
Alabama outscored the Rams in the second half, and even brought it within five points with under three minutes to go, before Russell and Dowtin went on a 8-0 run by themselves to ice the game.
Fatts lead the Rams in scoring with 22 points, while Jeff Dowtin put in 21 of his own. Dowtin was glad to have an efficient day shooting the ball (9-11), “I texted Coach after the Maryland game, and told him I was sorry for the way I played the first three games, I was taking bad shots. This next game I wanted to find my open spots and play with the flow of the game.” Cyril Langevine and Tyrese Martin also had double digits outputs, scoring 12 and 11, respectively.
Alabama stayed alive in the second half scoring inside, and finished the game outscoring URI 50-38 in the paint. Kira Lewis Jr lead the Tide in scoring for the third straight game with 21 points, and Herb Jones had 17 himself.
Another one of the many positives that came out of Friday night’s win was the performance from the Ram’s bench unit, which contributed 25 points after facing some criticism after the Maryland loss last week.
Coach Cox admired the way his bench played, “They played with tremendous energy those guys, obviously played a major role in getting the victory, and hopefully moving forward solidified the depth of this team.”
Rhode Island stays at home for a match up against Nicholls State on Tuesday night at the Ryan Center, where they look to improve to 3-1 on the season.