February 20, 2013

Rhody Hosts Xavier on Wednesday in the Seventh Annual Pink Out Game

Watch Live:  OSN (Cox ch. 5 / 1005 HD) - Eric Frede, Abu Bakr, Mike Mancuso

Listen Live:  B101 101.5 FM - Steve McDonald / Don Kaull
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Gamenotes: Rhode Island/Xavier (pdf)

Buy Tickets: ExperienceRhody.com

Promotions: Seventh Annual Pink Out

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RHODE ISLAND VERSUS XAVIER

  • Rhode Island and Xavier meet today in the lone regular season matchup between the two programs.  
  • The Musketeers hold a 18-3 lead in the all-time series, which began in the 1995-96 season.  
  • Last season, Xavier downed the Rams, 84-66, on Feb. 8, 2012 in Cincinnati.
  • URI has dropped its last five and 17 of the last 18 meetings against the Musketeers.
  • Rhody's last victory over Xavier came in the 2007 A-10 Championship in Atlantic City - 79-71, March 9, 2007.  
  • The last regular season victory came on Feb. 24, 1998 - a 69-68 decision at the Providence Civic Center.  

RHODE ISLAND IN THE ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE

  • Since its inaugural season in 1980-81, Rhode Island has posted a 235-288 all-time record in Atlantic 10 play.  
  • The Rams earned their first conference victory of the 2012-13 season at Saint Louis on Jan. 19 - an 82-80 overtime win.
  • Last season, Rhody finished with a 4-12 mark in conference play, putting them in 13th place in the league standings.
  • On Jan. 18, 2012 - at Fordham - Rhode Island played its 500th Atlantic 10 game all-time.

RHODE ISLAND AT THE THOMAS M. RYAN CENTER  

  • This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ryan Center - the home of URI men's and women's basketball.
  • URI holds a 106-60 regular season record in the Ryan Center since the arena opened for play on Nov. 26, 2002 with a 73-71 victory over USC.
  • Last season's victory over Hofstra on Nov. 25, 2011 was the 100th on the Ryan Center floor.
  • The Rams have won 11 or more home games on five occasions - including a program-record 15 in 2009-10.

LAST TIME OUT - RHODE ISLAND 67, DUQUESNE 62 - FEBRUARY 16

  • Nikola Malesevic had 19 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.  Again, the senior from Serbia stepped up and knocked down 8-of-13 from the floor - including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
  • Malesevic's 3FG with 3:03 left was the turning point and his layup with just under a minute to play gave the Rams the lead for good.
  • Xavier Munford was hounded by Duquesne defenders all night, but added 14 points and a career-best six assists.  The junior guard knocked down all seven of his free throw attempts.
  • After a first half in which he played just six minutes, Jordan Hare finished with nine points and five rebounds in 16 second half minutes of action.
  • In the first half, T.J. Buchanan got the Rams going offensively.  He connected on all three of his shot attempts - including two 3FG.  
  • This marked the fifth time that Dan Hurley and Jim Ferry-coached teams met on the hardwood.  The two coaches met as leaders of Wagner and LIU, respectively, in Northeast Conference play.
  • Alwayne Bigby made solid contributions off the bench, with four rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes of play.
  • The Rams dominated in the paint, outscoring the Dukes, 28-16, inside.

TODAY'S RHODE ISLAND BASKETBALL FACT(S) YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

  • Today's Theme: The Pink Out
  • URI was the first NCAA Division I school to hold a breast cancer charity event in association with a men's basketball game.
  • Rhody is 3-3 all-time in Pink Out games, dating back to the inaugural game vs. Massachusetts on Jan. 24, 2007.
  • Xavier (2008, 2013) and Dayton (2009, 2011) are the only teams to play in more than one Pink Out game.
  • Since the 2006-07 season, Rhody Athletics has raised more than $50,000 for the local breast cancer charity.
  • Carl Jones of Saint Joseph's holds the Pink Out scoring record (28 points), set in last year's Pink Out (Feb. 15, 2012).
  • Rashaun Freeman (UMass) grabbed 12 rebounds, while Rhody's Parfait Bitee shares the assist record (7) with three others.

SENIOR MOMENT FOR MALESEVIC AT DUQUESNE

  • Nikola Malesevic turned in his highest scoring game in almost two months, with 19 points at Duquesne.
  • The senior from Serbia connected on 8-of-13 from the floor - including a key 3-pointer with 3 minutes to play and a layup with under a minute to play which gave Rhody the lead for good.
  • Prior to hitting that layup, Malesevic drew an offensive foul with 1:13 to play, which was a momentum shifter for the Rams.
  • He also led Rhode Island with seven rebounds (3 off./4 def.) in 27 minutes of action.
  • This performance was on the heels of Malesevic's stat sheet stuffer vs. Dayton (see note "Near Triple-Double for Malesevic")

DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH

  • Xavier Munford - the A-10's second leading scorer (17.4 ppg) - dished out a career-best six assists at Duquesne on Feb. 16.
  • It bested his previous high of five - set on three occasions (vs. Vermont, vs. SMU, vs. George Washington).
  • Munford ranks second on Rhode Island with 52 assists - a 2.2 assists per game average.
  • Rhody is 3-1 when Munford has five or more assists this season.

PAINT BY NUMBERS

  • Rhode Island is averaging 27.7 points in the paint over its last three games.
  • Last time out, Rhody outscored Duquesne, 28-16 in the paint.
  • The Rams' season-high for points in the paint is 32 - set at Virginia Tech and at Richmond.
  • On the season, URI is averaging 23.1 paint points per game; 555 (37.0%) of the Rams' 1499 total points have come in the paint.

AAMAN, HARE COMBINE AND CONTRIBUTE TO DAYTON WIN

  • Freshmen post players Mike Aaman and Jordan Hare combined for 19 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and 36 minutes of play in Rhody's 75-72 win over Dayton on Feb. 13.
  • Hare earned the start and registered eight points (4-7 FG), seven boards, and three blocks.
  • Aaman played 18 minutes off the bench, connecting on 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the line - good for 11 points.
  • Aaman's traditional three-point play at the 4:25 mark gave the Rams a 65-59 lead.

NEAR TRIPLE-DOUBLE FOR MALESEVIC

  • Nikola Malesevic filled out the box score against Dayton on Feb. 13, tallying 13 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two blocked shots and three steals.
  • So far this season, only one other player has registered that stat line or better in a regulation game - Kyle Anderson (UCLA).
  • Dating back to the 1996-97 season, he is the ONLY Rhode Island player to put forth that diverse of a stat line.
  • The double-double in points and rebounds was Malesevic's second in his career; the seven assists are a new career high.
  • Delroy James recorded the program's lone triple-double (22 p/11 r/10 a) against Miami (Ohio) on March 16, 2011.

MUNFORD SECOND IN THE ATLANTIC 10 IN SCORING

  • Junior guard Xavier Munford ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, through games of Feb. 15.
  • The Hillside, N.J. native checks in at 17.5 points per game, which also ranks him 63rd nationally.
  • He has registered nine of Rhody's top ten scoring performances this season, including a 33-point effort at Auburn.
  • He is fourth in scoring in Atlantic 10 games only, checking in at 17.6 points per game.
  • Munford has posted nine games with 20 or more points - the most in the Atlantic 10 this season.

IMPROVED DEFENSIVE EFFORT IN 2012-13

  • A major point of emphasis for head coach Dan Hurley is improving Rhody's defensive effort from last season.
  • Last season, Rhody ranked as one of the worst defensive teams in the country.
  • URI ranked 321st out of 339 in scoring defense (75.5 points/game), 324th in FG% defense (47.5%), and 230th in 3-point FG% defense (35.5%).
  • In 2012-13, the Rams are allowing 9.3 fewer points per game and have lowered their defensive FG% to 42.5% and their 3-point FG% defense mark to 32.6%.
  • This season, the Rams have held seven opponents to 60 points or fewer, including a season-low 47 points allowed vs. Brown on Jan. 4.
  • URI has allowed 70+ points just five times and 80+ points twice in regulation.
  • Last year, Rhody allowed 70+ points 23 times (31 games),  80+ points 11 times, 90+ three times, and 100 once.

T.J. TURNING IT UP

  • Sophomore T.J. Buchanan is averaging 6.1 points, while shooting 55.4% from the floor over the last 10 games.
  • During this stretch, the sophomore guard has connected on 8-of-13 from beyond the arc - good for 61.5%.
  • Against VCU on Jan. 30, Buchanan tallied 11 points (4-8 FG; 2-3 3FG) and capped off a late 13-4 Rhody run with a 3-pointer.
  • On Jan. 26 at Fordham, the Kalamazoo, Mich. native had 10 points (2-4 FG; 1-2 3FG; 5-6 FT)
  • Buchanan has scored at least five points in eight of his last 10 games. Over his first 13 games, he reached five points just once.