The Rhode Island Rams looked sloppy at times in the first half before pulling away in the final 20 minutes to defeat the Southern Connecticut State Owls 93-77. Rhody was actually down one at the break before turning it on in the second half to come away with the exhibition victory. The biggest news of the game is a potential injury to Gilvydas Biruta, which we’ll touch on more a little later. The good news is that every scholarship player got some action as URI preps for their first game of the season, which comes next week against Maine.
Simply put, the Rams didn’t look all that great in the first half. 12 turnovers and sloppy defense led to the Owls pouring in 42 first-half points. A late three by Central Connecticut’s Tylon Smith gave his team a 42-41 lead at halftime, meaning it was probably not all that fun to be in the URI locker room. But a 14-4 run by Rhode Island midway through the second half put the game away as Rhody committed just five turnovers in the second half to pick up the win. Not surprisingly, Xavier Munford led the way for the Rams, dropping 18 points on 5-12 shooting. If you were worried about the freshman, worry not. Hassan Martin dropped 14 points off the bench and E.C. Matthews chipped in with 13. Matthews wasn’t all that efficient, however. He shot just 3-10 from the field and 0-3 from three-point range as he worked through some jitters.
Gilvydas Biruta was also outstanding, posting the only double-double of the contest. The transfer from Rutgers dropped 12 points and grabbed 12 boards before leaving the game with a lower leg injury. Biruta dove for a loose ball out of bounds and appeared to tweak his ankle. Based on reports from Twitter, it looked pretty bad at the time as Gilvydas hopped to the locker room on one leg, but things (hopefully) aren’t too serious.
— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) November 2, 2013
Hopefully Hurley’s prediction comes true. Either way, it was a rocky performance for sure, but something the Rams can build on. We’ll have much more on this one coming up tomorrow.