Rhody Advances to A-10 Championship Semifinals with 74-63 win over St. Bonaventure

Rhody Advances to A-10 Championship Semifinals with 74-63 win over St. Bonaventure

How It Happened
Rhode Island advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship with a 74-63 win over St. Bonaventure on Thursday afternoon at the PPG Paints Arena.

The Super Mario Brothers - E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin - combined for 39 of the Rams' 74 points in the victory, which extended their win streak to six games dating back to Feb. 18.

URI led for the first 22:52 of the contest before St. Bonaventure took a 35-34 lead after two made free throws with 17:08 left in regulation.  Rhody dropped the hammer after that, starting an 11-2 run over the next 2:20.  URI built as much as a 15-point advantage, after two Matthews foul shots made it 72-57 with 2:04 to go.

Rhode Island jumped out to a 6-0 lead early on and led 12-4 with 14:30 left in the first half, after Martin converted 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.  The Bonnies responded with seven unanswered over the next 1:19, cutting it to one - 12-11.  Both squads traded baskets for much of the next five minutes before a quick 5-0 push gave the Rams a 26-20 edge with 6:58 left in the period. The Rams would lead 32-26 at the break.
                        
Inside the Box Score

  • E.C. Matthews led the Rams with 21 points.  He connected on 5-of-11 from the floor, 2-of-6 from the perimeter, and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe.  He also added five boards in 33 minutes.
  • Hassan Martin simply dominated the paint, connecting on 8-of-10 from the floor to go with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
  • Rhode Island scored 38 of its 74 points in the paint on the afternoon.
  • Stanford Robinson led the Rhody reserves with nine points.  Robinson scored six straight points during the key second half run that put the game out of reach.  He added two assists and a steal in 18 minutes of action.
  • Jeff Dowtin added six points and three assists in 20 minutes of play.  Backcourt mate Jared Terrell also tallied six points and two assists but made a major impact on the defensive end for the Rams.
  • Terrell held Matt Mobley - the A-10's fourth-leading scorer at 18.9 points per game - without a field goal in 35 minutes of action.
  • Cyril Langevine provided solid minutes off the bench, with seven points (3-3 FG), five rebounds and a blocked shot in 12 minutes.
  • For the game, Rhode Island connected on 55.8% from the floor (24-43) - the third-best single-game shooting performance of the season.  URI made 5-of-14 shots from 3-point land.
  • Rhody made 6-of-16 free throws in the first half, but bounced back over the final 20:00 of play, connecting on 15-of-20 in the second half.  The Rams won the battle of the backboard, 34-28.

Stat of the Game, pt. I
12-1 - Rhode Island is 12-1 when Hassan Martin and E.C. Matthews each tally double-digits in the scoring column.

Stat of the Game, pt. II
6/20/0 - Jeff Dowtin posted his sixth game of the season playing 20 or more minutes while not committing a turnover.

What's Next
Rhode Island will make its 13th trip to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday afternoon, taking on #9 seeded Davidson.

The game will air nationally on the CBS Sports Network, with Tom McCarthy, Doug Gottlieb and Allie LaForce.

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.