And that happened. The Rhode Island Rams were absolutely smoked by the UMass Minutemen tonight in a game that was never really that close. Rhody really felt the loss of Jordan Hare, who missed this game with back spasms, as they weren’t able to get anything going inside and never really made a game of this one. The Rams now fall to to 6-15 on the year and 1-7 in the Atlantic 10 following one of their post lopsided defeats of the season.
Rhody quickly fell behind 5-0 early on in this one before battling back from several five-point deficits to tie the game at 19 apiece. With the score tied again at 21, UMass, and specifically Chaz Williams, began to take over. The Minutemen rattled off an 11-0 run in the span of four minutes and 10 seconds and never looked back. Williams scored eight of UMass’ 11 points in that stretch. The Rams made a few attempts to close the gap, including a circus three by Xavier Munford off an inbounds pass with 0.8 seconds to play in the half. X’s triple cut the Massachusetts lead to 10 at the half, but it didn’t discourage them much.
The second frame was all Minutemen, as they began the second half on a 10-0 run to open up a 20-point lead and it was smooth sailing from there. URI was absolutely dominated in nearly every phase of the game, but especially in the paint. The Rams tallied just 10 points in the paint to 34 for UMass. The Minutemen also shot 52 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from three as the normally intense Rhody defense looked flat. URI made just 33.3 percent of their shots, including 23.3 percent from long range. UMass also held a 38-27 edge on the glass. About the only thing to go right for the Rams was Munford, who scored 22 points on 7-17 shooting. Williams absolutely lit it up for the Minutemen, scoring 27 points on 9-14 shooting and 3-5 from deep. The senior point guard also added eight assists in an outstanding effort.
After an outstanding effort over the last few games, especially against superior opponents, Rhody looked like a completely different team tonight. And not in a good way. The defense looked poor, the offense looked disorganized, and the team generally looked like a shell of the one we’re used to. The lack of Jordan Hare certainly hurt, but it didn’t cause them to lose by 28. Rest assured, Dan Hurley will work hard to fix whatever problems there were tonight. In the meantime, we’ll break down this debacle much more tomorrow.