In what has been an emotional 48 hours for the URI Men’s Basketball team, their victory over Boston College will be one that the team and Coach Cox will savor just a bit more than the rest. It was a particularly meaningful win for head coach, who saw his Rams team start the season 3-0 for the first time since being named head coach. The Rams welcomed a fierce Boston College offense to the Ryan Center, and dispatched them convincingly with elite defense, thanks, in part, to the Rams clinical big men.
An End To End First Half
What started as a potent URI offensive display quickly became a frantic end to end contest, with each team trading points and blocks like a game of hot potato. The Rams opened the scoring, going on an 8-2 run for the first five minutes of the half. Soon, the Boston College offense began to click, pegging the Rams back, and even taking the lead for a short time. But, led by an exceptional all around performance from Rams forward Makhi Mitchell, who registered 9 points and 6 rebounds in the first half, URI were able to keep the BC Eagles at bay, holding them to just 31.0% from the field. The Rams would go into the locker room at half time full of confidence as their side held a nine point lead over the visitors, 35-26.
A Defensive Second Half
Coming out of the locker room, the Rams looked to continue from where they had left off, and defensively, they just did that. The Rams held Boston College to just four points in the opening seven minutes of the second half, but didn’t register a field goal themselves until about 10 minutes into the half. However, the Rams would soon begin to click offensively, widening the gap between them and the Eagles bit by bit. As the minutes winded down, the URI defense stayed firm, keeping the lead at at-least 5 points for the remainder of the game. Makhi’s brother Makhel was the star of the second half, racking up 4 points, and 6 rebounds. Makhel also finished the game with a whopping 8 blocks, which tied for the 3rd most in URI individual history (single game). The team in total had 13 blocks, which tied for 5th in program history (single game).
A Statement Win As The Rams Press On
The Rams’ win tonight was for Ryan. Coach Cox wanted his players to go out onto the court and play with the same passion and energy Ryan had, and they did just that. This win saw the Rams achieve numerous feats, particularly the first ever 3-0 start in the David Cox era. Now, the Rams travel down to Florida to finish out the Sunshine Slam against Tulsa, while also facing FGCU and Georgia State, all within the next 10 days. Nevertheless, Coach Cox has the gears turning on this Rams team, and is slowly, but surely, building up a winning culture which could see the Rams bring home silverware for the first time since 2018.