Rhode Island Holds Off Alabama, 93-79

Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard
Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard

Rhody Starters
Harris, Martin, Russell, Dowtin, Langevine 

Alabama Starters
Davis, Jones, Lewis Jr., Bolden, Petty Jr.

How it Happened
Guards Fatts Russell and Jeff Dowtin combined for 43 points as Rhode Island defeated Alabama 93-79 on Friday night.

The Rams (2-1) built a 22-point lead, using a balanced offense that saw five players score in double figures. Russell has 22 and Dowtin added 21 to lead the way. Despite a 17-point halftime deficit, the Crimson Tide (1-2) came back in the second half to trim URI's lead, but Rhode Island's ability to get out in transition, force turnovers and hit free throwd was key down the stretch. 

Rhode Island's defense was aggressive from the start forcing seven turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game. Consecutive steals from Dana Tate that led to five points on the offensive end sparked a 10-0 run and gave the Rams a 15-7 lead. Another 10-0 run in the first half built the lead up and reached 22 at one point. The Rams carried a 50-33 lead at the half.

Alabama (1-2) started the second half off strong, the Crimson Tide posted an 11-0 run to pull within ten with 13:23 remaining. Alabama continued to cut to as low as five points but Rhode Island remained resilient, capitalizing with 33 points off turnovers. Jeff Dowtin hit a contested mid-range jumper as the shot-clock expired with 1:27 remaining to extend the lead back to double digits and secure the win.

Inside the Box Score 

  • Junior Fatts Russell led all scorers with 22 points. Russell scored 20 plus for the 11th time in his career. He added five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
  • Senior Jeff Dowtin recorded 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. 
  • Senior Cyril Langevine recorded a career-high in assists with six. He added 12 points and three blocked shots.
  • Sophomore Tyrese Martin had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. 
  • Jacob Toppin added 11 points off the bench, hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
  • Dana Tate had a big game off the bench, scoring nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. He added three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
  • The last time URI defeated an SEC opponent was Jan. 4, 2014, in a 74-70 victory at LSU.
  • For the second time in three games, Rhode Island had five players in double figures. 
  • URI's defense forced Alabama into 17 turnovers in the first half, and 22 overall.
  • The Rams had 13 steals.
  • URI shot 52.4% from the field, the first time shooting over 50% since Feb. 27 vs. George Washington, eight games ago.
  • The Rams shot 21-of-26 from the free throw line (80.8 percent). They were a perfect 12-for-12 in the second half.

What's Next?
Rhode Island will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at home vs. Nicholls State. The game will be on ESPN+ and is set to tip-off at 7:04 p.m.