Nov 23, 2013; Kingston, RI, USA; The UMass Lowell men's basketball team lines up for the National Anthem. Free use image. Mandatory Credit: UMassLowellAthletics (@riverhawknation),

Rhode Island Basketball: Breaking Down the Rams’ 79-68 Win Over UMass Lowell

Wins are nice and everything, but most Rhode Island fans would feel more at ease if the Rams were playing a little better. Rhody was able to hold off one of the worst Division I teams in the country yesterday afternoon as they topped UMass Lowell 79-68 at the Ryan Center. And while the outcome was never really in doubt, URI was expected to trounce the River Hawks by a lot more than 11 points. Needless to say, there may be more negatives than positives after this week. Let’s take a look.

First, a look at what went right… and once again it starts with E.C. Matthews. The freshman not only posted an impressive stat line (15 points, five rebounds, three assists, zero turnovers), but he also was key to a big Rhode Island run. The Rams scored just two points in the first six minutes of the game, but E.C. made it his mission to end the drought. Matthews rattled off seven straight to get URI rolling, and later keyed a 20-2 Rhody run to put the Rams on top… and they never looked back. Rhode Island also saw some improvement in their help defense. We anticipated that it would be a focal point this week, and Dan Hurley made sure that his team got better in that area of the game.

As for some of the negatives, well… Dan Hurley said it better than we can.

Simply put, URI’s big men have been nonexistent for the past few games. No scoring plus very little defense will hurt any team, and it will certainly hurt the Rams against any team with a decent front court. The absence of Mike Aaman certainly plays a role, and hopefully things will get better when he returns. In the meantime, Rhody needs to work to improve their play down low, or this could end up being a long season.

Luckily, there’s still plenty of time left for URI to correct these issues. Plus, they’re winning games in spite of them, so we can’t hate that. The Rams are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome UNC Asheville to the Ryan Center. Tip-off will come at 7:30 p.m.

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams

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