How It Happened
Rhode Island used a spirited rally to come from behind and defeat Massachusetts 79-77 Sunday afternoon.
After falling behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, Rhode Island (11-6, 3-2 A-10) closed the gap to four points by halftime. UMass (11-7, 1-4 A-10) pushed its lead back to eight early in the second half, but the Rams took their first lead of the game following a old fashioned 3-point play by E.C. Matthews on a layup and foul shot with 16:13 to go.
Following Matthews' made free throw, there was a back and forth battle for the lead the rest of the way. Rhode Island gained momentum from back-to-back 3-pointers by Matthews and Kuran Iverson that pushed the Rhody lead to seven (73-66) with 2:35 to play. The biggest lead came off two made foul shots by Jeff Dowtin with 1:14 to go, giving the Rams a 78-68 advantage over the Minutemen.
Things got close after UMass scored back to back layups, bringing the score to 78-75 with 38 seconds left. Hassan Martin was sent to the line and made one of two free throws, with nine seconds remaining. The Minutemen responded with a quick jumper to make the score 79-77 with two seconds left. However a long inbound pass to kill the clock put the game away, giving Rhode Island the victory.
Inside the Box Score
- Freshman Jeff Dowtin made his first career start, replacing junior Jarvis Garrett who missed the game due to illness. Dowtin had 11 points, four assists, two steals, and two rebounds in 32 active minutes.
- Junior E.C. Matthews led the Rams with 22 points, four rebounds, and two assists. The guard went 10-for-14 from the floor.
- Senior Hassan Martin had 17 points, six blocks, and two rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
- Senior Kuran Iverson had 10 points, six rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes.
- The Rams forced the Minutemen to 14 turnovers on the afternoon.
- Rhode Island outscored UMass 11-6 on second chance points.
- The Rhody reserves outscored the Minutemen just slightly, 15-14 with points coming from junior Stanford Robinson (7), sophomore Christion Thompson (6), and sophomore Nicola Akele (2).
Stat of the Game
9 - The game feature nine lead changes, all of which came in the second half.
The Rams head to Duquesne Saturday, Jan. 21 to face the Dukes. Gametime is set for 2:30 p.m.