URI Men’s Basketball finished off their regular season with two games this week, a win at St. Joseph’s and a win vs. Massachusetts on Senior Day. Here’s a deeper look into the Rams’ week.
Rhody traveled to Philadelphia for their match up on Tuesday, March 5th at St. Joseph’s. The game had no shortage of excitement, as the OT thriller resulted in a win for the Rams. This win extended the team’s winning streak to three games, providing momentum and optimism for Coach Cox’s squad.
The story of the game was without a doubt Fatts Russell. The sophomore Philly native scored 41 points, including the last 19 of the game for URI. He lit up overtime with 9 points, and his game total was the highest for a Rhode Island player since Tom Garrick’s 50 in 1988.
Jeff Dowtin dropped 23 for the Rams, his most since January 9th at Richmond.
“I’ve been saying I feel like we’re the best backcourt in the Atlantic 10 if we play like this.” – Fatts Russell (The Providence Journal)
Seniors Will Leviton and Ryan Preston were both introduced to the court with standing ovations from the Ryan Center crowd, as the two were honored for Senior Day. The Rams then looked to avenge their loss at the Mullins Center on January 27th, where they fell 77-70 to the Minutemen.
Rhody jumped out to a hot start, which included a 16-0 run in the first half to take an early 26-9 lead. This was fueled by six steals, leading to multiple baskets in transition. They later went on a 23-6 run to extend their lead to 49-18, before eventually going into the half with a 54-25 lead.
The rest of this one would remain lopsided, as the Rams won 94-75. Fatts Russell led the way again with 27 points and 5 assists with 6 steals, Cyril Langevine added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Ryan Preston made the most of his Senior Day with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Rhode Island’s win streak now stands at four straight heading into the A10 Tournament. This is a great turnaround for a team that had just lost five in a row.
URI (9-9, 16-14) will be taking on LaSalle (8-10, 10-20) on Thursday the 14th, for the first round of the A10 Tournament in Brooklyn. If they win they’ll take on A10 Regular Season Champion VCU (16-2, 25-6) on Friday.
The road to an A10 title will be a tough one, and the Rams’ only chance at the NCAA Tournament. However, they’ve beaten 3 of the top 4 seeds in the conference and are playing their best basketball to date.
Cyril Langevine said, “We’re hot! However you want to put it, we’re hot. Just got to stay focused and just got to handle business out there (in Brooklyn).”