The Rhode Island Rams fell 61-54 to the George Mason Patriots in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday in a hard-fought game that didn’t turn out Rhody’s way. URI was in this one the whole way, never falling behind by more than six until there were eight seconds left in the contest. But poor execution down the stretch led to Rhode Island’s demise as they fell to 6-3 on the season, and 0-3 on the road. Still, the Rams played perhaps the most complete game they have this season, although there are still some issues of concern. Let’s break it all down.
On the positive side, Rhody hung with a pretty darn good squad for 40 minutes as the two teams spent much of the game trading baskets. And while they didn’t have an answer for Sherrod Wright (not many teams do), they were able to play solid defense along the perimeter, holding the Patriots to just 2-11 from three-point range. URI was also able to do a decent job down low on both ends of the floor as they held a 30-28 advantage in points in the paint. Plus, aside from the hiccups in the final minutes, the Rams finally turned in one of their most complete games of the season. It’s certainly something to build on.
Despite the playing well, scoring down low, and turning up the defense, Rhode Island still couldn’t come away with the win. If you’re looking for reasons as to why, it has to start with Xavier Munford. X, who had been hot as of late, shot just 5-18 from the field and committed a game-high five turnovers. And with the understanding that shooters are supposed to keep shooting, that’s just too many shots to take on a cold shooting day. URI’s big men also struggled with foul trouble all afternoon, forcing Dan Hurley to go small at some pretty inopportune times. Rhody also racked up a season-low four assists, with just two coming from the starting five. Those kind of numbers aren’t going to win many games.
It’s time to put this in the rear-view, especially because it’s PC WEEK. We’ll have much more on the Friars coming up as the Rams gear up for Thursday’s game.