How It Happened
The Rams erased a nine-point deficit with just over six minutes to play in regulation and used clutch plays on both ends of the court to earn a 73-70 win in the final home game of the 2016-17 season.
Rhody trailed by seven points - 59-52 - with 4:37 left in regulation before the best defense in the Atlantic 10 kicked into gear and orchestrated a 7-0 run. Hassan Martin's layup with 1:31 left knotted the game at 59-59.
The Rams led by three (62-59) with less than 24 seconds left before Jack Gibbs - the A-10's leading scorer - connected on a deep 3-pointer to tie the game with 16 ticks to go. Rhode Island committed a turnover on a quick five second call before setting up the most crucial defensive stop of the season.
Davidson's Will Magarity drove the lane for the potential game-winner, but was rejected by Stanford Robinson as time expired and the Rams and Wildcats headed to extra time.
In overtime, the two teams traded baskets until E.C. Matthews' layup with 2:31 left gave URI the lead for good. After both teams made free throws on ensuing possessions, Matthews put the cap on the final win with a thunderous dunk with 1:11 left.
Inside the Box Score
- The two seniors - Hassan Martin and Kuran Iverson - helped lead the Rams to victory on the night.
- Martin finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds in 40 minutes of play. The Rams all-time leader in field goal percentage connected on 10-of-18 shots from the floor. Thirteen of his 17 boards were on the defensive end. Martin added two blocks and two steals.
- Iverson posted his fourth double-double of the season and sixth game with at least 10 rebounds - finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The senior forward filled out his stat sheet with two assists, two blocks, and two steals in 40 minutes of play.
- E.C. Matthews scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and overtime. He connected on 7-of-18 shots from the floor to go with three boards and two key blocked shots in 35 minutes.
- Stanford Robinson led the Rhody reserves with 10 points, three boards, an assist and two blocks in 26 minutes. The junior guard made 4-of-8 field goal attempts.
- For the game, Rhode Island connected on 49.2% from the floor (32-65) - including 30-52 from inside the arc.
- The Rams dominated the glass, 43-34, and scored 18 second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds. Twelve of those 18 second-chance points came over the final 25 minutes of play.
Stat of the Game, pt. I
56 - Rhody scored a season-high 56 points in the paint. It is the highest scoring total from the post in over a decade.
Stat of the Game, pt. II
9 & 18 - There were nine ties and 18 lead changes in tonight's game.
Rhode Island heads to Pittsburgh for the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship as the #4 seed. Rhody will take on the winner of Thursday's matchup against #5 St. Bonaventure and either #12 Massachusetts/#13 Saint Joseph's.
The game will tip at the PPG Paints Center at 2:30 p.m. and will air live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
The game can be heard live locally on the Rhody Sports Network on B101 (101.5 FM) and through the iHeartMedia app, with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.