Rhode Island Fight to the Finish at UMass; Fall 60-56 in Amherst

Rhode Island Fight to the Finish at UMass; Fall 60-56 in Amherst

How It Happened:
UMass closed the game on a 13-3 run and took a 60-56 victory at home over Rhode Island.  The loss was URI's seventh-straight vs. the Minutemen.

Rhode Island connected on its first six shots from the floor, dishing out six assists in the process and the Rams led 13-7 just four minutes into the game.  The Rams would lead by as many as seven (24-17, 5:45) before a 6-0 run for Massachusetts over the next 1:30 cut it to one - at 24-23.  UMass outscored URI, 11-3 over the final 5:45.

The second half saw six lead changes and two ties and both squads traded baskets - and runs - throughout much of the 20:00 of play.  Leading by two - at 36-34 - Hassan Martin scored eight of Rhody's next 14 points and Jarvis Garrett knocked down a free throw to give the Rams a 53-47 lead with 6:22 to play.

But UMass would again respond, scoring 10 unanswered to take the lead for good.  Rhody cut it to one (57-56) with 1:30 to play, but could get no closer.

Inside the Box Score and Beyond:
* Hassan Martin led Rhode Island in scoring with 13 points - nine of which came in the second half.  He added six rebounds and four blocked shots in 23 minutes.  Martin was limited to just 5:00 of play in the first half due to foul trouble.

* E.C. Matthews added 11 points and six rebounds.  It marks his 14th double-digit scoring effort of the season and his 10th straight with 10 or more.

* Jarvis Garrett earned his first collegiate start, scoring three points, grabbing two boards, while tying his career-best with six assists.  The freshman from Milwaukee played 27 minutes.

* Gilvydas Biruta played 19 foul-plagued minutes, scoring nine points (4-5 FG) and adding three rebounds, an assist, a blocked shot, and a steal.

* Jared Terrell added eight points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 30 minutes.

* The Rams were outrebounded 36-31 for the afternoon, including an 18-7 edge on the offensive glass.  UMass converted those into 18 second-chance points.

* The Minutemen also held a 32-28 edge in scoring in the paint.

* URI blocked nine shots in the game - its second straight game with eight or more swats as a team.  Martin had four, while Earl Watson had three.

* UMass held a 15-6 edge in free throw attempts in the first half.  Rhode Island reversed that in the second half, making 19 trips to the charity stripe versus 11 for the home squad.

Stat of the Game:
69% - Ram forwards connected on 69.2% of their field goal attempts.  Martin (3-6), Biruta (4-5), Reischel (1-1), and Watson (1-1) accounted for nine of Rhody's 19 made field goals.

What's Next:
The Rams return home on Thursday, Jan. 22 to host La Salle at 7 p.m. at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.  The game will be televised live and can be seen on SNY and Comcast Philadelphia.  A live web stream will also be available on CoxHub.com.

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.