Rhode Island Rams fans must feel like they have déjà vu at this point. Rhody dropped another close back and forth game last night, this time to the St. Bonaventure Bonnies by a 67-61 margin. The Rams had their chances down the stretch, but poor free throw shooting and a dagger three-pointer from Eric Mosley dropped URI to 1-8 in the conference and 6-16 overall. Here’s a full breakdown:
Three Things to Feel Good About
1. Jordan Hare and Mike Aaman – Rhody has been feeling the effects of injuries to Jordan Hare and Mike Aaman as of late. With Hare out versus UMass and Aaman battling an ankle injury, URI’s has been struggling to generate any offense inside. But that all changed on Saturday night. Aaman and Hare both delivered solid contributions down low, scoring eight points apiece and combined for 11 rebounds (eight offensive). Rhode Island actually held a 26-24 advantage in points in the paint, just days after they were only able to muster 10 inside points versus the Minutemen. Hare also added three blocked shots to hit stat sheet, upping his total to 42 on the season.
2. Rebounding – Oddly enough, Rhody won the rebounding battle and otherwise dominated the paint on Saturday… but still couldn’t come away with a win. The Rams held a 36-28 edge in rebounding and an amazing 14-2 advantage in second-chance points. Aaman and Mike Powell led the way on the glass with six rebounds apiece.
3. Alwayne Bigby – The role players don’t get enough here at Rhody Rampage, so let’s change that. Bigby came off the bench to score four points on a perfect 2-2 shooting in 14 minutes. The transfer from Northeastern also grabbed three rebounds (two of them on the offensive glass) and chipped in with an assist in a solid effort.
Three Things to Be Concerned About
1. Scoring Droughts – Scoring the ball with consistency has been an issue for the Rams off and on all season, and it reared it’s ugly head once again on Saturday. After building a seven point lead, their largest of the game, URI proceeded to go 4:54 without scoring. The Bonnies went on a 9-0 run in that time frame, and Rhody never led again.
2. Turnovers – Normally one of the best teams in the country at taking care of the ball, Rhode Island committed 18 turnovers to just 12 for Bonaventure. SBU also held a 16-11 edge in points off turnovers, which was almost exactly their margin of victory. Xavier Munford was the biggest culprit with five miscues for URI.
3. Xavier Munford – Speaking of Munford, it seems that as he goes, so go the Rams. Yes, he scored a team high 18 points, and yes he poured in a team high three 3-pointers, but those numbers only tell part of the story. X shot a dismal 3-11, including an uncharacteristic 0-3 from two-point range. What happened to the Munford that takes the ball to the basket for high percentage shots? 8 of his 11 attempts were from deep, and with that many missed shots, it left Rhody fighting an uphill battle on offense.
With the loss, URI’s chances of making the Atlantic 10 tournament took another hit, and it’s looking less and less likely that they will get there. The players, coaches, and fans are no doubt becoming frustrated, but a lot of that will fade with a couple of wins. We’ll start breaking down Rhody’s next contest in the coming days.