If Rhody fans came out in the snow to see tonight’s game at the Ryan Center, they no doubt left frustrated. The Rhode Island Rams dropped a tough one to St. Bonaventure by the score of 67-61. Rhody was in striking distance for most of this one, but a few scoring droughts couples with missed free throws down the stretch were the killers this evening. With the loss, Rhody is now 6-16 on the year and 1-8 in Atlantic 10 play. They’ve also lost six straight games, their longest losing streak of the season.
Led by Xavier Munford and Mike Aaman, the Rams played well in the first half, taking a 32-26 lead into the locker room. But as we’ve become accustomed to seeing as of late, URI allowed the Bonnies to open the second frame on a 7-0 run, putting Rhody behind 33-32. But Rhode Island battled back, and actually led by seven with 7:45 to play. The lead lasted all of 15 seconds, and the Rams went a crucial 4:54 without a point late in the second half. In that time frame, Bonaventure went on a 9-0 run, turning the seven point Rhody lead into a 55-53 advantage for SBU. From there, it was missed free throws in key spots for URI. With 1:27 to play and the Bonnies up two, Mike Powell missed one of two from the line. 33 seconds later, Munford had a chance to tie it but missed a free throw of his own. A dagger three by Eric Mosley sealed the deal for Bonaventure, and sent the Rhody faithful back out into the snow.
Munford led the way for URI once again with 18 points, but only shot 3-11 from the field. All three of his field goals were three-pointers, as X actually went 0-3 from two-point range. Andre Malone was the only other Ram in double figures with 10 points on 3-7 shooting. Mike Aaman had eight points (all in the first half) and Jordan Hare had eight as well (all in the second half). Rhody actually won the rebounding battle 36-28, and held a 14-2 edge in second-chance points. The killer for the Rams was shooting: 39 percent from the field, 31 percent from three, and 69 percent from the line. And this is coming on the heels of two games in which Rhode Island shot 85 percent from the line combined.
Most of the problems that URI had in the UMass game seemed to dissipate in this one, but it still didn’t result in a Rhody win. Sooner or later, the Rams will start to win games like these, but it’s trying times for the players, coaches, and fans as they continuously come up short. We’ll have much more on this one coming up tomorrow.