Rhode Island Basketball: Breaking Down the Rams’ 71-69 OT Win Over George Mason

Members of the George Mason Patriots dance team. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Rhode Island Rams are on the board in Atlantic 10 play. Rhody gutted out a tough 71-69 overtime win against the George Mason Patriots Saturday afternoon, moving the Rams to 1-3 in the conference. URI was down by as many as 12 in the first half, but Xavier Munford led the comeback and Dan Hurley’s squad held on for a close victory. It wasn’t exactly glamorous, especially towards the end of regulation and into OT, but the Rams aren’t likely concerned about that. Let’s check out some of the other details.

Munford was the clear star in this one. The senior played all 45 minutes and dropped a season-high 28 points. And despite the fact that he monopolized URI’s shots (he took 20 of their 55), he made it count as he spearheaded the comeback. Gilvydas Biruta checked in with yet another double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds), and E.C. Matthews added 14. And despite missing a couple of key ones down the stretch, Rhody’s free throw shooting was much improved. They connected on 77 percent of their freebies, which ended up being huge in a close game.

It wasn’t all gravy, however. Rhode Island saw some of their usual problems creep up, foul shooting aside. The slow start, the low assist totals (eight on 21 made field goals), and the inconsistencies on offense and defense were all on display. Mason is one of the worst teams in the A-10, so a two-point overtime win isn’t likely to make fans feel all warm and fuzzy. But now that there’s a win in the books, URI can hopefully start pulling things together.

Can they lock down two Ws in a row? The Rams head back to Philadelphia on Wednesday to face off against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.

Topics: Basketball, Rhode Island Rams

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