Rams Win Overtime Thriller at Dayton, 72-70

Photo Credit: Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images
Photo Credit: Erik Schelkun, Elsestar Images

Rhody Starters
Harris, Russell, Martin, Langevine, Dowtin

Dayton Starters
Cunningham, Toppin, Davis, Crutcher, Mikesell

How It Happened
Rhode Island won its second straight game, beating Dayton in an overtime thriller, 72-70, Friday.

The Rams (14-14, 7-9 Atlantic 10) took the lead early, finding themselves up by five, 18-13, at the 12-minute media timeout. Dayton responded with a 9-3 run over the next 3:26, taking a 22-21 lead on a free throw by Obi Toppin, but Rhody responded with a 7-0 run of its own. Fatts Russell hit a 3-pointer, then hit Cyril Langevine with a behind-the-back pass for a layup to key the run.

The Rams maintained the lead for the remainder of the half, shooting 57.1 percent as they took a 38-31 lead into the break. Russell (14) and Langevine (12) combined for 26 points in the half.

Rhode Island pushed its lead to as many as 12 points in the second half, following a 3-pointer by Russell that made the score 50-38 with 14:31 to go. The Flyers then scored nine unanswered points to trim the lead to 52-49. Langevine converted an old-fashioned three-point play to stem the rally and extend URI's lead to 55-49 with 9:12 remaining.

Dayton (19-10, 11-5 A-10) was able to get within one point on multiple occasions. A pair of free throws by Jalen Crutcher pulled Dayton within 59-56, and two more by Ryan Mikesell made it a one-point game at 59-58 with 3:41 to go. A Jeff Dowtin layup then made it 61-58, but another Toppin basket made it a 61-60 game.

After an empty offensive possession, Russell got a steal and drove coast-to-coast for a layup to give the Rams a 63-60 lead. Toppin scored three points in the final 1:20 of regulation to knot the score at 63-63. A tip-in by the Flyers fell off the rim at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.

Ryan Mikesell scored the first points of overtime, but Langevine came right back with the hoop-and-harm to put Rhody in front, 66-65. The teams traded points on the next few possessions. Toppin hit a layup, then Langevine converted a layup off a feed from Russell. A Toppin three-point play made it 70-68 Dayton but a Russell drive tied the score once again. After the Rhody defense forced a turnover, Dana Tate scored on an offensive put back, putting Rhody up, 72-70.

Dayton had possession with 38.8 seconds on the clock but Rhode Island forced a missed 3-pointer, and Langevine grabbed the rebound. Russell was then fouled with 21.7 seconds remaining for a one-and-one, but he missed the front end. Again, the Rams' defense came up with a stop, and Tyrese Martin was fouled with 4.9 seconds to go. Despite missing the front end again, Rhody's defense came up with another huge stop, allowing the Rams to hold on for the win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Fatts Russell scored 23 points, including 14 in the first half. He added six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
  • Junior Cyril Langevine registered a career-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
  • With the three blocked shots, Langevine moved into a tie with Lamonte Ulmer (2006-10) for eighth place in program history with 107 career blocks.
  • Junior Jeff Dowtin recorded 10 points and five assists.
  • Freshman Dana Tate had nine points and four rebounds off the bench.
  • Rhode Island was 5-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half.
  • Rhody finished with 15 assists, nine of which came in the first half. 

What's Next
Rhode Island heads to Saint Joseph's for its final road game of the regular season on Tuesday, March 5. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.