Rhody's Supreme Defensive Effort Blocks La Salle, 59-47

Rhody's Supreme Defensive Effort Blocks La Salle, 59-47

How It Happened
A supreme defensive effort helped propel the Rams to a 59-47 victory over La Salle on Thursday night.

Rhode Island (12-5; 4-2 A-10) put the clamps on the Explorers early on (10-9; 2-4 A-10), holding them scoreless for a 6:30 stretch midway through the first half.  URI would build as much as a 14-point advantage (25-11), with 4:36 to play in the period.  The Rams held La Salle to just 17 first half points - tying the low mark for opponent scoring in a half this season.

While the story of the first half was defense, Rhode Island's offense was efficient over the final 20:00 of action.  Rhody connected on 10-of-17 from the floor (58.8%), including making 9-of-13 inside the arc.  

The Explorers got as close as nine points twice, but Rhode Island maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the period.

Inside the Box Score

  • Hassan Martin set a new Rhode Island single-game blocked shots record, with 10.  The sophomore forward blocked four shots in the first 6:11 of the game and just kept going.  He finished the first half with six swats and added four more in the second frame.
  • Martin bested Kenny Green's previous mark of eight, set five times throughout his Rams career.  Green is the Rams' all-time leader in blocks (328).  Martin currently ranks fifth (132).  It was also the most blocked shots registered by a La Salle opponent (credit: Kevin Bonner).
  • The Staten Island, N.Y. product narrowly missed a triple-double, with 14 points (5-9 FG) and nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
  • Gilvydas Biruta put forth one his best performances in his Rhody career, with 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the floor.  He added nine rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots, and two steals in 33 minutes.
  • E.C. Matthews added 13 points and six rebounds.  It marks his 15th double-digit scoring effort of the season and his 11th straight with 10 or more.  He also blocked two shots.
  • For the game, Rhode Island set a new single-game team record with 15 blocks.  The Rams' previous high of 14 was set vs. Boston University on Nov. 30, 1997.
  • Jarvis Garrett and T.J. Buchanan each dished out four assists, as the Rams finished with 16 as a team.  Rhody's assist percentage was 76.1% on the night.
  • The Rams held the edge on the backboard, 37-33, marking the 12th time out of 17 games that they won the battle on the glass.

Stat of the Game
10 - Ten different Rhody players saw action on the night and all 10 grabbed a rebound, nine of them scored, seven logged an assist, four blocked a shot, and three tallied a steal.

What's Next
The Rams host St. Bonaventure on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.  The game will be televised live and can be seen on OSN (Cox ch. 5/1005 HD).  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.

As part of the nationwide Suits and Sneakers week in conjunction with Coaches vs. Cancer, there will be several initiatives throughout the Ryan Center before and during the game.

Coaches vs. Cancer

  • Both coaching staffs will be wearing sneakers on the sidelines, uniting to fight cancer and raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, and fans also have several opportunities to participate in pre-game activities.
  • A button-making station will be set up in the Northwest Concourse of the Ryan Center, adjacent to the Alumni Lounge.  Fans can bring a photo of a loved one who has been impacted by cancer.  Donations for the button-making will be accepted and all proceed will benefit Coaches vs. Cancer.
  • Upon entrance to the Ryan Center, fans will receive a Coaches vs. Cancer card to write a name of a friend, family member or loved one's name to hold up during a moment of silence during the game.
  • The Coaches vs. Cancer program empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities.