Rhode Island Rams 76, Vermont Catamounts 66 – Rapid Reaction

Rhode Island Rams guard Andre Malone (12). Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

The Rhode Island Rams pieced together by far their best game of the season, a 76-66 victory over the Vermont Catamounts in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Rams led by 14 at the half and by as many as 22 in the second frame (56-34). The win sees Dan Hurley pick up his first win as the Rhody head coach at the Ryan Center, and moves the Rams to 2-6 on the season.

Xavier Munford was once again the star for the Rams, scoring 25 points on 7-11 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc. The biggest note, however, was his improvement at the free throw line going 8-11. Despite their struggles from the stripe down the stretch, the Rams shot much better on free throws this afternoon, going 23-35 as a team. Not great, but considering what the last few games have looked like, 23 made free throws is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when it results in a win. A few more notes on Munford – his last three games have looked like this: 33 points, 24 points, and 25 points. He’s on fire right now, and it’s starting to look like more than just a streak. X is shaping up to be the Rams’ #1 scoring option for the reason of the season. Based on these recent point totals, how can he NOT win A-10 Player of the Week at this point?

But besides Munford, Mike Aaman starred in this one in an absolute break-out performance. He scored a season-high 15 points, including 5-8 shooting and an amazing 5-5 from the free-throw line. He also pulled down 8 rebounds, including 5 offensive, and recorded a pair of blocked shots. The turning point in the game came with 4:00 to play in the first half and Rhody clinging to a two point lead at 26-24. Aaman then took over, scoring nine straight points to open up a 35-24 lead for the Rams. In the stretch, the freshman put in two layups, including an and-1, and made five free throws in a complete game-changing performance. Andre Malone was the only other Ram in double-figures, chipping in with 14 points for Rhody and going 2-3 from three-point range.

This one had to feel good for everyone involved. The defense, the scoring, the hustle – it was all there for Rhody in a well-deserved win. If you were at the Ryan Center this afternoon, let us know your thoughts on the atmosphere and anything else from this one. We’ll have much more on the game coming up tomorrow.

Topics: Basketball, Rhode Island Rams, Vermont Catamounts

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