Well that was terrible. The Rhode Island Rams turned in perhaps their most disappointing 20 minutes of the season tonight as they fell to the Providence Friars 72-57. The worst of it was the second half, despite opening it with a 7-4 run after being down by just one at the break. The Rams led 33-31 with 17:45 to play, but it was all downhill from there. The Friars put together an 11-2 run as Rhody mixed a lethal combo of cold shooting and poor defense, which eventually did them in as they fall to 2-7 on the season.
The Rams made just one field goal in a ten minutes and 44 second span, allowing a two point lead to turn into a 13 point deficit, and that huge stretch of play pretty much decided the game. Rhody allowed the most points they have in regulation all season, and despite Bryce Cotton playing nearly the entire game, he didn’t hurt the Rams all that much. Instead, it was the LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts show, with URI getting rocked inside once again. Batts led all scorers with 23 points to go along with seven boards – exactly what Rhody did not need. But if that wasn’t enough, Henton arguably played better. The sophomore forward poured in 21 points on 9-16 shooting, grabbed SEVENTEEN rebounds, and also tallied four steals. Rhody had just 26 rebounds as a team as they got slaughtered on the boards, with yet another negative rebounding margin. No URI player recorded more than four rebounds.
On offense, the Rams weren’t much better. Jordan Hare was the only guy to write home about, putting up 14 points on 6-7 shooting, and added three more blocks to his already impressive total. After that… well, there’s not much. Mike Powell had 12 points on just 3-9 shooting. Nikola Malesevic also had 12, but he shot only 4-12. And Xavier Munford – Rhody’s main source of offense – was silenced. X put up 10 points, but shot a dismal 3-13, including 0-8 from three. BUT WAIT, there’s more. The Rams came into tonight’s game averaging just 10.6 turnovers per game, good for 16th in the country. They’ll be 16th no longer, as they committed a season high TWENTY turnovers, including 13 PC steals.
So pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong, short of a player getting hurt. The Rams need to put this one behind them as quickly as they can, as it was just an ugly, ugly game. Rhody is off for over a week, so they’ll have plenty of time to work on these problems in between their exams. We’ll have a more detailed breakdown of this debacle coming up tomorrow.