March 30, 2010
NEW YORK - Senior Keith Cothran scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting, but it was not enough as Rhode Island (26-10) fell 68-67 in overtime in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden.
Cothran's game-high 23 points marked the 16th time this season he has led the Rams in scoring. It also marked the 30th time this season in which he has scored in double figures.
Teammates Lamonte Ulmer and Delroy James also finished in double figures as they scored 16 and 13 points, respectively. Ulmer also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. James and sophomore Orion Outerbridge each tallied three blocks.
North Carolina held a 16-12 lead at the 12:00 mark of the first half. During the first eight minutes of the first half, no team lead by more than five points. UNC forward Deon Thompson gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of the opening 20 minutes as he hit North Carolina's only 3-pointer of the first half, which gave UNC a seven point lead.
Rhody did not fare much better from 3-point range in the first half as it connected on just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Down 19-12 with 11:33 to go until halftime, URI made its move as it outscored UNC 18-8 over the next 10 minutes to take a 30-27 lead with 1:33 to go until the break. During that stretch, URI held the Tar Heels without basket for nearly five minutes.
UNC fought back to tie the game at 30 heading into the locker room.
Rhody came out of the locker room and did not trail until the 13:04 mark when UNC's John Henson gave the Tar Heels a 44-43 lead. Five minutes later, the Tar Heels increased its lead to five (51-46).
The Rams responded as it went on an 8-0 run to take a 54-51 lead with 5:08 remaining. The run was capped by a thunderous alley-oop dunk by Ulmer.
URI increased its lead to five (59-54) with 1:47 to go in the game, but the Rams were held scoreless during the final stretch and Tar Heels fought back to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, Rhody was outscored 9-8. Cothran led the Rams with four points in the extra session.