Rhode Island vs Holy Cross: URI Shouldn’t Need Matthews to Down Crusaders

The Rams will be without E.C. Matthews for the next month or so, but they’re more than equipped to take care of Holy Cross without him.

For the next month or so, the Rhode Island Rams will have to play the hand they’ve been dealt. And right now, that hand doesn’t include E.C. Matthews. Rhody’s star guard is sidelined for the next month or so with a broken wrist, which should make these next ten or so games even more challenging. First up in that stretch? The Holy Cross Crusaders. URI will meet the Patriot League foes on Sunday at the Ryan Center.

If you thing Holy Cross sounds familiar, you’re correct. This weekend’s game will mark the second game in a two-for-one series that will end next year in Worcester. Rhode Island was tested last season against the Crusaders, but they pulled out a 65-54 win at home. That one was probably closer than it should have been. And Sunday’s game may be close, too. But the Rams should — should — be able to add to their win streak vs HC.

That said, Holy Cross is, in fact, 2-0 on the young season. The Crusaders downed Sacred Heart on the road before picking up a nice win against Harvard at home. The Crusaders boast three players in double-figures early on, led by junior Patrick Benzan. The 5’11” guard is averaging 16.0 points and 5.0 boards while shooting it at 47.6 percent from the field. Fellow junior (and 6’6″ forward) Karl Charles checks in at 12.5 points per game, while freshman guard Caleb Green has 12.0 per contest.

Still, this is a team that was picked 8th in the Patriot League. Those scorers shouldn’t be anything URI can’t handle. The Rams should be able to get back over .500 before they head to Brooklyn.