Matthews Returns As #23/24 Rhode Island Earns 84-61 Opening Night Win

Matthews Returns As #23/24 Rhode Island Earns 84-61 Opening Night Win

How It Happened
E.C. Matthews led all scorers with 21 points as #23/24 Rhode Island earned an 84-61 win over Dartmouth on Friday night.

It was Matthews' first game action in almost a full calendar year, after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the 2015-16 lid lifter vs. American on Nov. 13, 2015.

Both teams traded baskets through the first 10 minutes of the game.  A Big Green 3-pointer by Ike Ngwudo with 10:39 left in the half made it 18-16, Rams.

A 7-0 run late in the first half put Rhody up double figures the rest of the way.  A Stanford Robinson jumper with 4:03 left in the half began the run which led to a 39-26 lead at the break.

The Rams connected on their first four field goal attempts and outscored the Big Green by 10 points through the first five minutes of the second half.  A trifecta from Matthews with 10:49 to play made it a 30-point lead, at 67-37.  Rhody cruised the rest of the way to the 23-point victory.
                                
Inside the Box Score

  • With his 3-pointer at the 17:08 mark of the first half, E.C. Matthews became the 52nd player in Rhode Island men's basketball history to reach the 1,000 point mark for his career.
  • The Detroit native entered tonight's contest with 999 career points.
  • Matthews finished with 21 points - the 20th time in his career that he has reached the 20-point mark.  He was 9-for-12 from the floor (2-3 3FG) to go along three assists and three steals in 23 minutes.
  • Hassan Martin tallied the 15th double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  He also added seven blocked shots.
  • For Martin, it was his four career game with at least seven swats.
  • Jared Terrell added 12 points and Kuran Iverson 11 as four Rams reached double-digits in the scoring column.
  • The Rhody bench scored 23 points on the night, led by nine from Nicola Akele (3-3 FG).  In total, 14 players saw action on the night.
  • Stanford Robinson - in his first action for the Rams - put up an efficient stat line in 19 minutes.  The transfer from Indiana tallied seven points, four rebounds, four assists (zero turnovers) and four steals.

Stat of the Game, pt. I
11 – Rhode Island blocked 11 shots on the night, led by Martin's seven.  Christian Thompson added two, while Nicola Akele and Cyril Langevine each tallied one swat apiece.

Stat of the Game, pt. II
26 – URI scored 26 points off 20 Dartmouth turnovers.

What's Next
Rhody opens play in the 2016 Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament on Monday, Nov. 11 when it hosts Marist at 7 p.m. at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.

The Rhody Sports Network will also carry this - and every game - live on B101 (101.5 FM), with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.  The game can also be seen live the A-10 Network, via GoRhody.com.