The Rhode Island Rams hung with the Saint Joseph’s Hawks tonight, but a tough second half saw Rhody fall 61-57 at the Hagan Arena in Philadelphia. URI made a furious comeback in the final minute, but it fell just short as Langston Galloway hit a free throw with six seconds left to ice it. The loss drops the Rams to 10-10 on the season and 1-4 in Atlantic 10 play.
Rhody started cold once again as they fell behind 14-7 just 5:45 into the game. But the URI bench keyed a comeback as Jarelle Reischel, Matthew Butler, and Ifeanyi Onyekaba all got in on the fun as they knotted things at 27 with a minute to play in the first half. A Xavier Munford three with four seconds left capped a 7-0 Rhode Island run as they took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
The second half saw the Rams push the lead to six before a 16-2 Saint Joe’s run put the Hawks up 10 with 6:57 to play and it was all but over. Rhody made a late run as they cut the lead to just three with nine seconds left, but Galloway and SJU closed things out for their third conference win of the season.
URI was already hamstrung when Biggie Minnis was forced to sit out with a hip injury, and the officiating crew made things a little more… difficult… for the Rams. That said, Rhode Island hung in thanks to the usual contributors in Munford (16 points and eight rebounds) and Biruta (11 points), plus a big help from Reischel off the bench. The Rice transfer chipped in with eight points and six rebounds in 25 minutes of work as Rhody kept it close pretty much throughout.
Rhode Island continues to improve as the season rolls on, and the wins will come. Tonight just wasn’t one of those nights. We’ll have much more on this one coming up tomorrow.