Jan. 8, 2011
KINGSTON, R.I. -- Rhode Island opens up Atlantic 10 play on Sunday night versus Xavier in a nationally televised game at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.
The Rams (9-5) host the Musketeers (8-5) at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Dari Nowkhah and Tim O'Toole will call the action live.
The game is also Blue and White night, sponsored by Dunkin Donuts, Cox, The RI Lottery and WPRI 12. All fans in attendance will receive a white or Keaney Blue t-shirt.
Rhode Island is coming off an 84-59 loss at Florida on Jan. 3. Delroy James led all scorers with 23 points, while Will Martell added 13 points and seven rebounds. Marquis Jones dished out seven assists in the loss.
Xavier also enters Sunday night's game coming off a loss. The Musketeers dropped a 66-46 decision at crosstown rival Cincinnati. Jamel McLean lead XU with 18 points, while Mark Lyons added 11.
Head coach Chris Mack's squad is led offensively by junior guard Tu Holloway, who checks in at 20.0 points per game. He also leads the team in assists, at 5.3 per outing. Three others - Lyons (12.5 ppg), Kenny Frease (11.4) and McLean (10.8) - are also averaging double-digits in the scoring column. McLean is the team's top rebounder (9.3), followed by the 7-footer Frease.
The Musketeers are averaging 68.6 points per game and are connecting on 43.4% of their shots from the floor. XU is 0-3 on the road this season.
Xavier holds a 16-3 lead in the all-time series, which began in the 1995-96 season. Last season, Xavier downed the Rams, 71-62, on Jan. 23, 2010 in Cincinnati.
It is the A-10 opener for both squads. Since joining the Eastern Eight/Atlantic 10 conference during the 1980-81 season, Rhode Island has compiled a 14-16 (.467) overall record in league opening games. Last year, the Rams dropped a 68-64 overtime decision at home versus Temple on Jan. 10.
For tickets, visit ExperienceRhody.com.