McNeese State Cowboys mascot on the sidelines. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Rhode Island Basketball: Breaking Down the Rams’ 76-71 Win Over McNeese State

It’s hard to know where to begin with this one. The Rhode Island Rams defeated the McNeese State Cowboys 76-71 last night at the Ryan Center in (what turned out to be) a nail-biter. But that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story of the game. Rhody was in complete control of McNeese very early on, building a lead as large as 21 as they looked to be putting together a rout. Then the wheels fell off, as the Cowboys came back to within three points before URI ended up squeaking out the victory. There’s certainly a lot of ways to look at this one, from both positive and negative points of view. Lets have a look at both.

The Glass is Half Full
Rhode Island absolutely dominated on the offensive end for a good chunk of last night’s game, with several different players getting into the act. Xavier Munford led the way for the Rams with 26 points as it looks like he’s finally getting his shot back following his foot injury. Besides the point total, X shot the ball with incredible efficiency, something he hasn’t done in the past few games. And it wasn’t just Munford that was scoring the basketball. Biruta, Buchanan, Reischel… everyone was in on the fun as Rhody ran up a massive lead. And let’s not forget, URI probably loses this one if they didn’t play so well through the first 28 minutes of the game. There’s certainly a lot of promise moving forward as the Rams come together as a unit.

The Glass is Half Empty
HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY LET THIS AWFUL TEAM COME BACK AND ALMOST WIN?!?!?! …ahem. The last 12 minutes of this game were extremely painful for Rhody fans as the wheels completely came off in a near-disaster. And let’s be real for a second – McNeese State is not a very good team. In every other game they’ve played against a D-I school this season, the Cowboys have lost by 26 or more points… until last night. The Rams need to develop a killer instinct if they’re going to continue to pick up wins this season. And for once – can they play 40 minutes of good basketball?

No matter your thoughts on last night’s game, you can’t ignore the fact that Rhode Island is now 6-2 on the season and tied for the most wins in the Atlantic 10. Things could be a whole lot worse. Rhody faces yet another road test this weekend when they’ll face off against the George Mason Patriots. Game time is set for Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Tags: Basketball Rhode Island Rams

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