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Game 23 Preview: Rhode Island Rams vs Dayton Flyers

The Rhode Island Rams are back in action tonight as they try to piece together a desperation run at the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Rhody needs to piece a winning streak together if they’re going to have a shot at Brooklyn, and it can all start with a victory this evening. Oh, and URI has history on their side; the Rams have won five straight against tonight’s opponent. Let’s have a look:

University of Dayton
Mascot: Flyers
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Conference: Atlantic 10
2012-13 Record: 13-10 (3-6)

Dayton checks in at a disappointing 3-6 in conference play, but in fairness, their A-10 schedule has been pretty difficult so far. The Flyers have already faced Butler, VCU, La Salle, St. Louis, and Xavier… and lost to all of them. UD’s most recently loss came Temple in a back-breaking 72-71 defeat in the final seconds. With Dayton coming into the Ryan Center, it should also be noted that the Flyers have exactly one road win on the season, and they have lost their last six contests away from the UD Arena.

Projected Starting Lineups

G: Kevin Dillard, Sr, #1, 6’0″, 170
G: Vee Sanford, Jr, #43, 6’3″, 180
F: Dyshawn Pierre, Fr, #21, 6’6″, 210
F: Devin Oliver, Jr, #5, 6’7″, 200
C: Josh Benson, Sr, #2, 6’9″, 223

Rhode Island
G: Mike Powell, So, #1, 5’11″, 175
G: Xavier Munford, Jr, #5, 6’2″, 180
G: Andre Malone, Sr, #12, 6’6″, 210
F: Nikola Malesevic, Sr, #23, 6’7″, 200
C: Jordan Hare, Fr, #4, 6’10″, 205

Like several other teams that Rhody has faced this season, the Flyers get it done with guard play. Kevin Dillard leads the way in both points (15.0 per game) and assists (4.6). The senior point guard is coming off a 16 point effort on 5-11 shooting versus the Owls, and he’s posted double-digit scoring in all but two of Dayton’s contests this season. In addition, he had racked up 10 assists on three separate occasions this year, and he also doesn’t miss from the free-throw line. Mike Powell and T.J. Buchanan have their work cut out for them in defending KD. But just remember – the Rams can get it done with guard play too:

One thing that Rhode Island has going for them is Dayton’s inability to rebound the basketball. But again, as we saw versus St. Bonaventure, sometimes winning the battle on the board isn’t enough. URI needs a complete effort tonight if they’re going to pick up a win. And looking at the conference standings, it’s now or never in terms of making it to Brooklyn. Many have counted Rhody out before and been proven wrong, so let’s see if the Rams have one last run in them.

Tags: Basketball Dayton Flyers Rhode Island Rams

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