Rhode Island to Honor 25th Anniversary of 1987-88 NCAA Sweet 16 Team on March 9

Rhode Island to Honor 25th Anniversary of 1987-88 NCAA Sweet 16 Team on March 9

KINGSTON, R.I. -- On Saturday, March 9, in conjunction with the season finale game versus Massachusetts, Rhode Island Athletics will honor the 25th anniversary of the 1987-88 men's basketball team's run the NCAA Sweet 16.

Former head coach Tom Penders and members of the 1987-88 team will be in attendance and will be honored during the game.  Additionally, the first 2,000 fans will receive a 1988 replica jersey t-shirt, presented by Cox Communications & WPRO.

Tickets for the March 9 game can be purchased online by visiting ExperienceRhody.com, or in person at the Ryan Center box office during normal business hours.

One of the most memorable seasons in Rhode Island basketball history, Penders' squad set a school record for wins (28), while advancing to the Sweet 16.  Led by the backcourt of Carlton "Silk" Owens and Tom Garrick, the Rams entered the field of 64 as the #11 seed in the East bracket.

In the first round at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. on March 17, Rhody upset the #6 seeded Missouri Tigers, 87-80, thanks to the 29 points from Garrick.  Despite missing nine of his first 10 shots, the West Warwick native heated up, scoring 25 of his 29 in the second half.  Silk Owens added 24 in the upset win.

Next up was #3 seeded Syracuse and Rhody jumped on the Orangemen early, opening up a 15-point first half lead.  It wasn't until just under 10 minutes to play that Syracuse was able to take the lead, but Garrick once again stepped up and put the Rams ahead for good.  He finished with 28 points to lead all scorers.  Kenny Green - Rhody's all-time leader in blocked shots - added 23 points and five rebounds while Silk Owens added 18 points and seven assists and zero turnovers in the 97-94 win.

On March 25, Rhody headed to the Meadowlands to take on #2 seeded Duke.  The Blue Devils slowed the game down and the Rams were plagued by early foul trouble.  URI trailed 18-5 and Garrick was whistled for three fouls in the first seven minutes.  Owens and Green led the Rams as they battled back to take a 45-40 edge early in the second half.  With 10 minutes to play, Duke went ahead for good, while Rhody went cold for a 7:34 span.  Owens canned a 3-pointer with seven ticks remaining, making it 73-72.