Heroic Effort Paced #21/22 Rhody Past #24/25 Cincinnati, 76-71; Face #1/1 Duke on Sunday

Heroic Effort Paced #21/22 Rhody Past #24/25 Cincinnati, 76-71; Face #1/1 Duke on Sunday

How It Happened
#21/22 Rhode Island erased a 12-point deficit with a heroic effort to best #24/25 Cincinnati, 76-71, in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Rams (4-0) fell behind by 10 less than five minutes into the game, trailing 14-4 at the 15:21 mark.  The Bearcats (3-1) extended the lead to 12 after knocking down a 3-pointer with 9:42 left in the half, making it 24-12.  Rhode Island would miss its first nine attempts from beyond the arc.

Cincy converted a traditional three-point play to make it 29-17, before Jared Terrell connected on the first 3-pointer of the afternoon for the Rams, which kickstarted an 8-0 Rhody run.  A Kuran Iverson jumper made it 31-27 with 2:12 remaining.  After some back-and-forth to close the half, Cincinnati drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer, making it 39-31 at the break.

In the second half, trailing by 11 points - 46-35 - with 17:37 to play, an inspired Rams squad reversed course on their first half shooting woes.  A 12-0 run - paced by back-to-back 3-balls from Terrell - and capped by a layup by Cyril Langevine gave URI its first lead of the ballgame (47-46) with 14:40 to go.

There were four lead changes and four ties over the final 14:40 of the game.  The Bearcats took a five point lead with 11:56 to play, but it was quickly erased by a 9-1 run capped by two Kuran Iverson free throws, giving URI a 58-56 lead with 8:24 left.  Rhody would not trail the rest of the way.

Cincinnati would get as close as one - 66-65 - but a quick response trifecta from E.C. Matthews made it a two-possession ballgame on the next possession.  Matthews dropped another 3-ball in the deep corner with 20 seconds left that sealed the victory for the Rams.
                                
Inside the Box Score

  • With close to 1:30 left in the first half, point guard Jarvis Garrett fell on the baseline under the Rams' basket.  He was taken off the court on a stretcher and transported to Backus Hospital for further evaluation.
  • Four Rams finished in double figures, led by 18 points from E.C. Matthews.  The Detroit guard scored 15 of his 18 in the second half, knocking down 4-of-5 from the perimeter over the final 20 minutes of play.
  • Kuran Iverson tallied his first double-double of the season and the fifth for his career, with 15 points and 10 boards.  He also added five assists in 33 minutes of play.
  • Hassan Martin and Jared Terrell each scored 14 points.  Martin added three boards and two blocks in 18 foul-plagued minutes.
  • Terrell connected on 4-of-7 from the perimeter, while adding four boards and three assists in 33 minutes.
  • The Rhody bench played an inspired second half.  Freshman Cyril Langevine scored seven points and registered four offensive boards and a blocked shot in 17 minutes.
  • Stanford Robinson played 26 minutes total - 16 in the second half.  The junior transfer chipped in with two assists and a steal while running the point.  Christian Thompson (four points) and Nicola Akele (two assists) each made their impact during Rhody's second half runs.
  • URI connected on 51.9% (14-27) from the floor, including 6-of-8 from outside, in the second half.  The Rams outscored the Bearcats, 45-32, over the final 20 minutes of action.
  • Rhody tallied 15 assists on 26 field goals and committed 10 turnovers.
  • It marks the first 4-0 for the Rams since the 2009-10 season and the 15th all-time victory over a nationally ranked opponent.

Stat of the Game, pt. I
80 – Rhode Island knocked down 16-of-20 from the free throw line - good for 80.0%.

Stat of the Game, pt. II
+11 – The Rams bench outscored Cincinnati's reserves, 15-4.  

What's Next
Rhody continues play in the 2016 Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 20 when it takes on #1/1 Duke at 1 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The game will air live on ESPN and the WatchESPN app, with Dave O'Brien and Dick Vitale providing the broadcast call.

The Rhody Sports Network will also carry this - and every game - live on B101 (101.5 FM), with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.