Rhody Returns to First Place in A-10, Cruises Past UMass, 75-59

Rhody Returns to First Place in A-10, Cruises Past UMass, 75-59

How It Happened:
Rhode Island forced 18 UMass turnovers and dominated the backboard, earning a 75-59 victory tonight at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.

Rhody (18-6, 10-3 A-10) snapped a seven-game losing streak vs. UMass (16-10; 9-4 A-10), which dated back to February, 2012.

There were four ties and three lead changes in the first half, as neither team gained more than a four-point advantage through the first 17 minutes of play.  A jumper by T.J. Buchanan with 28 ticks left in the half gave Rhody its largest lead - seven points - at 28-21.  URI would lead 28-23 at the break.  

In the second half, UMass' Trey Davis connected on a trey, cutting it to 36-30 with 16:56 to play.  But Rhody would go on a 16-4 run over the next 6:06, capped by two Buchanan free throws, taking a 52-34 lead with 10:50 to go.

The Minutemen would chip away at the Rams' lead, but got no closer than nine (60-51, 6:55).  A final 12-4 push from Rhody put the game away en route to its 18th victory of the season and 10th in league play.

Inside the Box Score and Beyond:
* Tonight's win marked the first time Rhody reached 10 wins in A-10 play since 2008-09, when Rams were 11-5.

* Four players reached double figures for the Rams, led by E.C. Matthews' game-high 16 points.  The sophomore guard added four rebounds in 34 minutes of play.

* The freshmen backcourt of Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett were dominant, combining for 27 points.  Terrell (5-9 FG; 2-3 3FG) had 14 points, a career-best five assists (zero turnovers) and two steals.  Garrett added 13 points (4-7 FG; 2-3 3FG) and four assists.

* Hassan Martin registered his seventh double-double of the season, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.  The sophomore also blocked four shots in 26 minutes of play.  The 6-7 forward now has 156 career swats.

* Gilvydas Biruta displayed tremendous effort with eight points, five rebounds (four offensive), two assists and two steals.

* T.J. Buchanan (eight points) and Jarelle Reischel (five points) tallied all of URI's 13 points off the bench.  Buchanan filled the stat sheet once again, with six boards, two assists and three steals.

* As a team, the Rams shot 46.9% from the floor - including 46.2% (6-13) from beyond the arc.  Rhody assisted on 15 of its 23 field goals.

* Rhody dominated the glass, winning the battle of the boards, 35-27 - including an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass.  In the first meeting of the season in Amherst, UMass grabbed 18 offensive boards.

Stat of the Game:
21 - Rhode Island scored 21 points off the 18 UMass turnovers in the game.  As a team, URI notched nine steals.

What's Next:
The Rams travel to Fairfax, Va. to take on George Mason on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. at the Patriot Center.

Fans can tune into the Rhody Sports Network and B101 (101.5 FM) for the call, with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.