Rhody Edged Out By Davidson in A-10 Title Game

Photo Credit: Mitchhell Leff
Photo Credit: Mitchhell Leff

Rhody Starters
Matthews, Dowtin, Robinson, Terrell, Berry

Davidson Starters
Gudmundsson, Michelsen, Pritchett, Aldridge, Grady

How It Happened
A back-and-forth contest did not go Rhode Island's way, as Davidson knocked off the Rams 58-57 in the finals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Sunday.

Davidson opened the game on a 6-0 run and hit six of its first seven shots. Despite the hot start for the Wildcats, back-to-back 3-point baskets from Jared Terrell and E.C. Matthews pulled Rhode Island within a point at 13-12 before the first media timeout at 14:12. Over the next 7:09, there were two lead changes and three ties as the teams went back and forth offensively. The game was tied when the teams went to the benches for a timeout at 7:03 of the first half.

Neither team led by more than three points for the remainder of the half, but the lead changed hands five more times down the stretch. Rhody took a slim 33-32 lead into the break thanks to a Stanford Robinson 3-pointer.

Davidson started the second similar to the first, using a 9-2 run to establish a 41-35 lead following an old-fashioned three-point play from Peyton Aldridge with 17:27 to go. The lead got as high as eight before Matthews hit back-to-back runners to pull the Rams within 49-45 with 7:09 to go. On the next Davidson possession Jared Terrell picked up his fourth personal foul.

An 8-0 run spurred by Jeff Dowtin and Jarvis Garrett led to Rhode Island taking a 53-52 lead with 4:22 to go. Dowtin hit a 3-pointer from the corner. On the next possession, strong ball movement led to a 3-pointer from Garrett off an assist by Robinson to make it a one-point game. Cyril Langevine came up with a steal on the ensuing possession, and Dowtin hit a step-back jumper to give Rhody its first lead since the opening seconds of the second half.

Robinson got a steal on the next Davidson possession, and Matthews hit a long 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend the lead to 56-52. Davidson – which did not hit a field goal from 14:03 until 1:14 – rallied at the free throw line. The Wildcats took a 58-57 lead when Kellen Grady hit a baseline runner with 1:14 to go.

After an empty possession by the Rams, Grady drove again, but was rejected by Langevine. Rhode Island called timeout with 29 seconds left to set up its offense. A baseline jumper by Robinson missed, but Rhode Island retained possession when the ball went out of bounds off Davidson with 10.8 seconds to go. A final shot from Jeff Dowtin went wide, and Davidson got the win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Redshirt senior E.C. Matthews had a game-high 20 points. He added eight rebounds and one block.
  • Senior Jarvis Garrett contributed six points and four rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Garrett had 14 assists in the three tournament games.
  • Redshirt senior Stanford Robinson added six rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three points.
  • Sophomore Cyril Langevine added five points, six rebounds, and three blocks.
  • Sophomore Jeff Dowtin scored nine points and added three assists.
  • Senior Jared Terrell scored five points, passing Stan Stutz (1938-40, 41-42) for ninth place on the Rhode Island all-time scoring list with 1,751.
  • Senior Andre Berry scored eight points, going 4-of-6 from the floor.
  • Rhode Island scored 16 points off of Davidson's 12 turnovers.
  • After making 5-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, the Rams were just 3-of-12 from the arc after the break.
  • Eleven of Davidson's final 13 points came at the free throw line, as the Wildcats made just one field goal over the final 14:03. 
  • Davidson was 14-of-16 at the free throw line.

Stat of the Game
17 -
Sophomore Jeff Dowtin combined for 17 assists through Rhody's three games at the conference tournament. He also averaged 14.3 per game en route to All-Championship Honors.

What's Next

Rhode Island will find out its fate when the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket is unveiled. The full bracket will be announced on the March Madness Selection Show on TBS at 6 p.m.