Rams Hang On at UMass, Extend Streak to 13 With 85-83 Win

Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard
Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard

Rhody Starters
Matthews, Dowtin, Robinson, Terrell, Berry

Massachusetts Starters
Hines, Pipkins, McLean, Pierre, Anderson

How It Happened

Rhode Island (18-3, 10-0 Atlantic 10) built a big lead, then held on - despite a furious late rally by the Minutemen - winning 85-83 Tuesday night at Massachusetts.

Both sides were hot in a wild first half. UMass (10-13, 3-7 A-10) opened the game by making five of its first six field goals to take a 13-6 lead by the game's first media timeout (15:36). The Massachusetts lead got up to 13 points (23-10) after a basket by Luwane Pipkins.

A 19-4 Rhody run gave the Rams their first lead at 29-27, following an E.C. Matthews 3-pointer with 7:53 left in the half. The Rams extended it to 33-27 after back-to-back baskets from Matthews and Jared Terrell. UMass responded with a 7-2 push to pull within a point, at 35-34, but back-to-back treys by Jeff Dowtin put URI back on top by seven (41-34). Pipkins then drained a three just before the halftime buzzer, sending Rhode Island into the break with a 44-41 lead.

Dowtin scored five of Rhode Island's first 12 points in the second half, and also assisted on a pair of baskets, to help the Rams establish a 56-49 lead with 13:50 to go. Rhody maintained a double-digit lead and kept UMass at arm's length for much of the half.

However, the Minutemen made it a one-possession game in the final minute. Another 3-pointer from Pipkins pulled UMass within 84-82 with 10 seconds left. Jarvis Garrett then hit 1-of-2 attempts from the line to make it 85-82, and fouled Pipkins with 1.8 seconds remaining to prevent UMass from attempting a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Pipkins made the first shot, then intentionally missed the second. However, he was called for a lane violation trying to get the rebound. On the ensuing inbounds play, Stanford Robinson got a touch on the ball and avoided getting fouled, allowing the clock to expire.

Inside the Box Score

  • Rhode Island extended its winning streak to 13 games, its longest since the 1939-40 season. It also marks the fourth-longest win streak in program history.
  • The win was the team's 18th consecutive victory against Atlantic 10 competition, 15th straight league win and 10th in a row on the road in conference play.
  • Sophomore Jeff Dowtin recorded his first career double-double, scoring a season-high 19 points to go with a career-best 10 assists.
  • Senior Jared Terrell had his 10th 20-point game of the season, finishing with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
  • It was the ninth straight game the Rams have had a 20-point scorer.
  • Seniors Andre Berry and E.C. Matthews provided 15 and 10 points, respectively. Berry was efficient on offense, doing his damage on 6-of-8 shooting.
  • Matthews moved past Kenny Green for ninth place on Rhode Island's all-time scoring list. He now has 1,725 points.
  • Senior Stanford Robinson recorded six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He also drew a pair of charges.
  • Freshman Fatts Russell had an impact off the bench. In nine minutes in the first half, he had two assists, one steal and one rebound. He forced a second turnover with his pressure defense. In the second half, he scored five points to spark the offense late.
  • UMass sophomore Luwane Pipkins registered 18 of his 27 in the first half, when he was 6-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 at the free throw line.
  • Massachusetts was 24-of-25 at the foul line. The Minutemen connected on 11-for-12 attempts in the first half and made all 13 free throws after the break.

Stat of the Game
– Rhode Island has now won each of its last 10 Atlantic 10 road games, dating back to last season.

What's Next

The Rams are back on the road Friday night when they travel to VCU. The game will air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.