Sensational Send Off; Rams Win 78-68 Over Saint Joseph's

Sensational Send Off; Rams Win 78-68 Over Saint Joseph's

How It Happened:
Rhode Island closed out the regular season with a 78-68 win over Saint Joseph's at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.

After an emotional pre-game Senior Day ceremony, with the Rams (21-8; 13-5 A-10) honoring Eric Youncofski, Gilvydas Biruta, and T.J. Buchanan, the Hawks (13-17; 7-11 A-10) jumped out to a 9-0 lead just two minutes into the game.  SJU led by as many as 10 points (15-5, 14:01), but countered with a 15-5 run of its own and tied it up at 20-20 after a Buchanan jumper.

Saint Joseph's would respond, going back up by as many as seven (35-28, 3:30) and both teams traded baskets before halftime.  Rhody would trail by one at the break (38-37).

The Hawks began the second half by building a five-point lead (42-37, 18:52), thanks to DeAndre Bembry.  But Rhode Island would take over from that point, outscoring Saint Joseph's 41-26 to close the half - including a 20-3 run that put the game out of reach for good.

Inside the Box Score and Beyond:
* Biruta led the Rams with 18 points - 16 coming in the second half.  The 6-8 Lithuanian sparked Rhody's second half run, tallying five rebounds and two steals.

* Buchanan - earning his first start of the season - scored 13 points, while adding three boards and three assists in 30 minutes of action.

* E.C. Matthews had 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists.  The sophomore guard also tallied a blocked shot and a steal in 33 minutes.

* Hassan Martin narrowly missed his ninth double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.  Martin was 5-for-6 from the floor and will end the season as the A-10's leader in FG% both overall and in conference games.

* Jarvis Garrett added eight points and three assists in 31 minutes.  Biggie Minnis added four assists in 20 minutes.

* Rhody held a 32-29 edge on the glass, including a 9-3 edge on the offensive glass.  The Rams held the Hawks without an offensive board for the first 38 minutes of the game.

* 44 of URI's 78 points came in the paint and 27 came off turnovers.

* Rhode Island committed a season-low eight turnovers and dished out 15 assists on its 29 field goals.

Stat of the Game:
at least 2 - Seven of the eight Rams to play tallied two points in the scoring column, including junior walk-on guard Eric Youncofski.  The guard from Middletown, N.J. was honored before the game and will graduate this May in just three years with a degree in public relations.

What's Next:
The Rams will head to the borough of Brooklyn as the #3 seed in the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championship.  URI's opponent has yet to be determined, but the Rams will play on Friday night at 9 p.m.  

The game will be televised live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.  Fans can also tune into the Rhody Sports Network and B101 (101.5 FM) for the call, with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.