Rams Blitz Iona With Fast Start, Win 88-75 to Advance in NIT

Rams Blitz Iona With Fast Start, Win 88-75 to Advance in NIT

How It Happened
Making its first appearance at the NIT in five seasons, Rhode Island used an explosive offense to jump out in the first half and then held off Iona, 88-75 Tuesday night.

Rhode Island (23-9) was on fire from deep early, hitting six of its first seven attempts from beyond the arc. A 3-ball from E.C. Matthews at the 8:58 mark put the Rams ahead by double digits, 30-20. The Rams maintained a double-figure lead for much of the remainder of the game, as Iona (26-9) never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Inside the Box Score

  • Freshman Jarvis Garrett recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. He is the first Ram to get a double-double with points and assists since Delroy James had 22 points and 10 assists against Miami (Ohio) on March 16, 2011. The 10 assists were a career high for Garrett.
  • Sophomore E.C. Matthews and freshman Jared Terrell led the Rams with 18 points each. Also scoring in double digits were Biggie Minnis (13), T.J. Buchanan (10) and Garrett (10).
  • For Matthews, it was his ninth straight game in double digits and the 27th time he has had 10 or more this season. 
  • In addition to his 13 points, Biggie Minnis had six rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes off the bench.
  • Sophomore Hassan Martin had six points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.
  • Sophomore Matthew Butler gave the Rams five points in the first half. 
  • Despite playing just 12 minutes due to foul trouble, T.J. Buchanan had 10 points, five rebounds (all on the offensive end) and two assists.
  • Iona made its first two 3-point attempts, but was just one for its next 13 attempts. The Gaels finished 6-for-23 from the arc.
  • The 18 assists for the Rams were one off the season high. Rhody had 19 assists at Southern Miss and against UMass Lowell.
  • Rhody tied its season high with eight 3-point baskets. The Rams hit six of their first seven attempts.
  • Rhode Island scored 51 points in the first half, matching its high for the season. The Rams also scored 51 in the first half of the season opener against Pace.
  • All 10 players who saw action in the not only scored in the first half, but all 10 played at least five minutes before halftime.
  • Despite the breakneck speed of the game, the Rams committed just 10 turnovers.
  • There were 65 free throws in the game. Iona was 21-of-34 and Rhode Island was 22-of-31.

Stat of the Game
32-0 – Rhode Island's bench scored 32 points, while Iona's bench scored no points.

What's Next
Rhode Island will face the winner of the Stanford-UC Davis game, which tips off at 11 p.m. EST tonight.

The Rhody Sports Network will carry this - and every game - live on B101 (101.5 FM), with Steve McDonald and Don Kaull.