Rhode Island Rams guard T.J. Buchanan (13). Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Massachusetts Minutemen 75, Rhode Island Rams 66 – Rapid Reaction

The Rhode Island Rams finished off the 2012-13 season with a 75-66 loss to the Massachusetts Minutemen this afternoon. Like it’s been all season, Rhody battled UMass until the very end before falling just short in this one. As a result, the Rams close the book on the season with an overall record of 8-21, 3-13 in conference play.

URI came out strong to start the game, with their first 10 points coming from their seniors, who were honored in the pregame. Nikola Malesevic converted a couple of layups before Andre Malone buried two three pointers to put the Rams on top 10-5. Rhody’s biggest lead was five at 19-14 before a 6-0 Minutemen run put them on top. It was back and forth from there before Chaz Williams buried a circus three from near half-court as the halftime buzzer sounded, sending Massachusetts into the locker room with a 37-33 advantage.

Not surprisingly, Rhody battled back in the second half, and actually jumped on top 48-46 with 11:25 to play. The back and forth play lasted until the 3:38 mark with UMass on top 64-62. From there, the Minutemen closed on an 11-4 run, with URI going 0-4 at the line in the final stretch to seal their fate.

All three seniors closed out their careers with solid efforts. Malone was one of the stars this afternoon, putting up 19 points on 6-13 shooting, 3-6 from deep. He added five rebounds, three assists and a steal to his stat sheet in 35 minutes of play. Malesevic tallied 11 points on 4-8 shooting and 2-5 from long range, adding four boards and a pair of blocks in his effort. Lastly, Ryan Brooks chipped in with two points, and rebound, and a blocked shot.

As for the rest of the squad, Xavier Munford led all scorers with 21 points on 8-16 shooting, while Mike Powell added five points and eight assists. Chaz Williams led UMass with 20 points and 10 assists, but only made four field goals in the game as he did most of his work from the line. Cady Lalanne poured in eight points to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds for the Minutemen.

And that does it. There are a lot of words to describe this season, but one thing is for sure – the changes and improvements this team has made over the course of the season have not gone unnoticed. We’ll have much more coming up on this game and this season in the coming days.

Tags: Basketball Massachusetts Minutemen Rhode Island Rams

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