Well it wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. The Rhode Island Rams defeated Brown University 59-47 tonight in an in-state battle at the Ryan Center. The stats from this one are more ugly than good, but Rhody came alive offensively in the second half to pull away in what was a relatively close game up until that point. The victory is the 15th straight home win against the Brown Bears for URI as the Rams improve to 5-8 on the season.
The first half of this game was… well, it was ugly. But the Rams put together a 12-2 run over a 10:11 stretch to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room. Yes, 21-14 at the half. After trading baskets for a bit in the second half, Rhody put together another big run, this time 16-3 over 8:18, to take an 18-point lead with 4:20 remaining and they were able to close it out from there. The Bears committed 11 fouls in the final three minutes to try and get back into it, but Rhode Island was able to hit most of their free throws and come away with a 12-point victory.
Xavier Munford once again led three Rams with 18 points as part of three URI players in double figures. Mike Powell dropped in 16 points and Andre Malone chipped in with 12. 10 of Malone’s 12 points came in the first half when it seemed like he was the only player for either team who could actually score. Rhody shot a dismal 32.7% from the field and 26.7% from three, but their defense made up for the poor shooting. The Rams held the Bears to just 30% from the field and 23.5% from three, and held Brown’s top three scorers to 28 points combined. The Rams also corrected their rebounding errors in a big way, grabbing nearly 50 (!) boards in this one as they out-rebounded Brown 48-37.
Yeah, it wasn’t the best game, but Rhody closes out the non-conference schedule with a win and starts off the new year on the right foot. Atlantic 10 play is on the horizon, but the Rams will have to turn in a better offensive performance than they did in this one if they’re going to win many conference games. Luckily, their defense is right where it needs to be. We’ll have much more on this one coming up tomorrow.