Rhode Island Upsets Top-Seeded VCU 75-70 to Advance to A-10 Semifinal

Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff
Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff

Rhode Island Starters
Harris, Russell, Martin, Langevine, Dowtin

VCU Starters
Jenkins, Evans, Mobley, Santos-Silva, Vann

How it Happened
Eight-seeded Rhode Island upset top seeded VCU, 75-70, in Friday's first Atlantic 10 quarterfinal matchup. URI (18-14) used a 41-point second half to eliminate VCU (25-7) from the A-10 tournament for the third year in a row.

After falling behind by eight points in the first half, Rhody ended the period on a 10-5 run to go into the break down three, 37-34.

The momentum continued in the second half as URI took its first lead at the 16:20 mark after a Dana Tate layup made it 46-45. The Rams pushed it to as many as eight points, and then held off several VCU challenges to hold on for the win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior Jeff Dowtin scored a team-high 22 points, none bigger than his shot clock-beating 3-pointer - which put URI up 73-67 with 2:31 remaining. Dowtin is now four points away from 1,000 for his career. 
  • With sophomore Fatts Russell being limited to 25 minutes due to foul trouble, Dowtin was the Rams' primary ball handler. In 38 minutes on the floor, he committed zero turnovers, marking the sixth time this season he plays 38+ minutes without turning the ball over.
  • Freshman Tyrese Martin registered 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and one block. Entering the game against VCU, Martin had combined to score 15 points over his previous four games.
  • Freshman Dana Tate had 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. He was 5-of-6 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range.
  • Redshirt junior Christion Thompson was the fourth Ram to score in double figures, adding 11 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the free throw line. Rhody is now 8-3 when Thompson scores eight-or-more points.
  • Junior Cyril Langevine led Rhody's rebounding efforts with nine boards. He also added seven points.
  • Freshman Omar Silverio gave URI good minutes off the bench in the second half. His first steal of the game came with the score tied 49-49 and led to Rhody taking a 51-49 lead. His second steal came with URI up 57-56 and let to the Rams pushing their lead to 59-56. On the ensuing VCU possession, Silver grabbed a defensive rebound and later made a basket that gave Rhody a 61-56 advantage.
  • VCU's Marcus Santos-Silva led all players with 26 points and 22 rebounds.
  • Despite Santos-Silva's dominance on the glass, Rhody still out rebounded VCU, 38-37.
  • URI also held the advantage in points off turnovers (19-9), second-chance points (21-16), points in the paint (36-28) and bench scoring (25-18).
  • As a team, Rhode Island was 85.7 percent from the foul line, connecting on 18-of-21 attempts. Percentage wise, it was the Rams' second-best showing from the line this season.
  • Rhode Island is now 4-1 when playing teams it lost to earlier this season.
  • VCU was limited to 1-of-6 from 3-point range in the second half after making 6-of-14 in the first.

What's Next
Rhode Island is set to face fourth-seeded St. Bonaventure at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The game will broadcast on CBSSN and the radio call will be on B101.