Second Half Run Pushes Rams to Fourth Straight Win; Down SLU, 65-53

Second Half Run Pushes Rams to Fourth Straight Win; Down SLU, 65-53

How It Happened:
A 13-0 Rhode Island run midway through the second half propelled the Rams to a 65-53 victory at Saint Louis.  Rhody trailed 6-0 early on and by as many as eight points (21-13, 7:06) to play in the first half.  But URI closed the period on a 17-6 run, forcing four turnovers down the stretch, tying the game at 27-27.

The two teams traded baskets through the opening minutes of play in the second frame, as SLU took a five-point edge - 37-32 - with 16:50 to play in regulation.  And that's where the Rams began their run, with a Gilvydas Biruta jumper with just under 16 minutes to play.

SLU would cut it to two - 48-46 with 5:52 to play - before the Rams poured it back on, outscoring the Billikens, 14-4, paced by a big 3-pointer from Biggie Minnis and a traditional 3-point play by Hassan Martin.

Rhody shot 50.0% (12-24) from the floor over the final 20 minutes, while holding SLU to just 41.7% (10-24).  The Rams forced nine turnovers, which translated into 14 points, and won the battle of the boards, 18-10, in the second frame.  Twenty of Rhody's 38 points came in the paint, while 10 came from the charity stripe.

Inside the Box Score and Beyond:

* Rhody extended its win streak to four games - the longest win streak for the Rams since the 2009-10 season.

* Hassan Martin led Rhode Island in scoring with 15 points - 13 coming in the second half.  He was 6-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.  He added eight rebounds and four blocked shots in 35 minutes of play.

* Biruta added 14 points (6-8 FG), three rebounds, two blocks and a steal.  The senior did his damage in the first half, scoring 10 points.

* E.C. Matthews added 12 points and five rebounds - marking the 10th time in 12 games that the sophomore from Detroit reached double figures.

* Biggie Minnis matched his season-high of 10 points.  The junior point guard tallied four of Rhode Island's four assists while also notching two steals and a blocked shot in 27 minutes.

* Jarvis Garrett provided a spark off the bench, with nine points, two assists, and a career-high four steals.  The newcomer from Milwaukee also grabbed three rebounds.

* Classmate Jared Terrell tallied three steals and two assists and drew two key charging fouls during Rhody's second half runs.

* URI blocked seven shots in the game and has blocked 31 shots over its last four games.

* The Rams knocked down 14-of-19 from the charity stripe - including 12-of-15 in the second half (80.0%). It was the third straight game that Rhody has made 75.0% or better from the foul line.

* The win was Rhody's second on the road and third away from Kingston.  It also snapped a seven-game losing streak in A-10 openers.

Stat of the Game:
10/5/3/.60 - Hassan Martin notched his third straight game with at least 10 points, five rebounds, three blocks, while shooting at least 60.0% from the floor.

What's Next:
The Rams open up A-10 play at home with a Wednesday night matchup against Fordham.  The Kingston and Bronx Rams face off on January 7 at 7 p.m.  The game can be seen live online on  Josh Maurer and Chris DiSano have the call.

The Rhody Sports Network will also carry this - and every game - live on B101 (101.5 FM), with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.  The pre-game show begins 30 minutes before tipoff.