The 2012-13 season came to a close for the Rhode Island Rams on Saturday with a 75-66 loss to the Massachusetts Minutemen. The flow of the game pretty much summed up the entire URI season; Rhody led for a good chunk of the first half before letting the game slip away, and their final push was not enough to propel them to victory. As a result, the Rams finished out the season at 8-21 overall and 3-13 in conference play. Before we recap the entire season, let’s take a look at this game specifically:
Three Things to Feel Good About
1. Andre Malone – Malone’s final game in a Rhody uniform turned out to be one of his best. The senior from Atlanta tallied 19 points on 6-13 shooting, including 3-6 from beyond the arc. He also added five rebounds, three assists, and a steal in his 35 minutes of play.
2. Turnovers – As has been the case all season, the Rams did an outstanding job protecting the basketball, tallying just seven turnovers on the afternoon. No URI player had more than two miscues, and it held the Minutemen to just seven points off turnovers and only four fast break points.
3. Mike Powell – After a few rough games as of late, Powell bounced back in a big way on Saturday. Even though he only scored five points, MP shot a respectable 2-4 from the field and 1-1 from deep. He also tallied an impressive eight assists to just two turnovers, and he’s a big reason for Rhody’s low turnover margin this season.
Three Things to Be Concerned About
1. Perimeter Defense – Rhode Island’s outside D wasn’t terrible, but they still allowed UMass to shoot an outstanding 11-20 (55 percent) from deep on Saturday. The biggest killer was Freddie Riley, who buried 6-9 from the outside, although several of them came with a hand in his face. The Minutemen used several big threes down the stretch to put the game away.
2. Rebounding – What else is new? Rhody was rocked on the glass to the tune of a 40-26 margin, including 11-5 on the offensive end. The Rams had trouble stopping UMass center Cady Lalanne as he grabbed 15 boards, 10 more than any URI player.
3. Free Throw Shooting – Once again, Rhode Island could have made this one a little closer had they been able to convert from the charity stripe. Rhody shot just 11-19 (58 percent) from the line, including four crucial misses in the final three minutes.
The season has come to a close, and some may describe it as “merciful”. Either way, the focus immediately shifts to the promise and excitement of next season, which is eight months away. In that time, we’re going to continue to talk basketball, with a season review, recruiting tidbits, and any other news that may hit the wire. Let the countdown to November begin.