Rams Battle #17 VCU to Final Buzzer, Fall 65-60

Rams Battle #17 VCU to Final Buzzer, Fall 65-60

How It Happened
Rhode Island led VCU for more than 30 minutes of regulation, but ultimately fell 65-60 to the No. 17-ranked Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University Tuesday.

VCU came into the Ryan Center and applied its defensive 'HAVOC' to take an early 7-3 lead against Rhode Island. But the home team responded with an 19-7 run to take a 22-14 lead at the 8:53 mark of the first half.

The visiting Rams, known for creating turnovers and capitalizing off of them, were even in the turnover battle at halftime, as both teams gave up the ball six times.

Rhode Island took a 35-28 lead into halftime, leading by as many as nine points in the opening frame.

The lead dwindled to one point at the under-12 media timeout after VCU outscored Rhode Island 12-6 to start the half. Dan Hurley's squad came out of the timeout on a mission, scoring eight straight and extending the lead back to 49-40, matching the largest lead of the night.

VCU used its defense to battle again, scoring eight straight points of their own and tying the game at 51 with 5:35 remaining in regulation. The teams traded baskets for the next few posessions, and back-to-back 3-point baskets gave VCU a 59-58 lead with 2:30 to go, its first lead in more than 30 minutes of play.

VCU scored seven of the game's final nine points to hold off Rhode Island for the victory.

Inside the Box Score

  • The loss ended a six-game Rhody winning streak and dropped the Rams to 3-1 in the Atlantic 10.
  • URI outrebounding VCU by 12 (44-32). Rhody had 29 rebounds on the defensive end.
  • Rhody shot 43 percent from the floor in each half, shooting 23-of-53 from the field on the evening.
  • The Keaney Rams were 13-for-22 from the free throw line (59.1 percent), compared to 42.9 percent by VCU.
  • E.C. Matthews led the Rams with 22 points, marking the 15th time in his career that he has reached the 20-point mark. This leads all active Atlantic 10 scorers. He also had seven rebounds in 37 minutes of play.
  • Hassan Martin tallied his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in the loss. Martin had six more blocks.
  • Jarelle Reischel chipped in with 10 points, three rebounds, one assist and one block in just 15 minutes of play.
  • Rhode Island had eight steals in the game, while VCU only had five.

Stat of the Game
42 -
Rhody dominated down low, scoring 42 of 60 total points in the paint.

What's Next
The Rams will hit the road for their next Atlantic 10 matchup as they head to Amherst, Mass. to take on the Massachusetts Minutemen. Opening tip will be at 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

As always, the Rhody Sports Network will air the game live on B101 (101.5 FM), with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull. The pre-game show begins 30 minutes before tipoff.