Rhody Wins Big, Halts VCU Home Streak with 65-56 Victory

Photo Credit; Edward Johnson/VCU Athletics
Photo Credit; Edward Johnson/VCU Athletics

RHODE ISLAND (10-5, 2-1 Atlantic 10)
Starters: Harris, Russell, Martin, Langevine, Dowtin
Subs: Walker, Toppin, Long

VCU (12-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10)
Starters: Jenkins, Simms, Evans, Santos-Silva, Vann
Subs: Douglas, Hyland, Williams, Curry

How it Happened
Rhode Island snapped VCU's 21-game winning streak at the Siegel Center, grabbing a big road win, 65-56, Saturday afternoon.

URI fended off a big second-half rally by the hosts. Guards Jeff Dowtin, Fatts Russell and Tyrese Martin combined for 50 points to lead Rhode Island to its second straight Atlantic 10 victory. Rhody never trailed in the game, holding the lead for 37:46 of game time.

An intense defensive effort helped Rhode Island lead for most of the first half, as URI limited VCU to 32.4 percent from the field, including 2-of-10 from the perimeter. By contrast, Rhody shot 46.2 from the field. Jeff Dowtin had 11 first-half points, while Fatts Russell added seven and Tyrese Martin added six. The strong play on both ends allowed Rhody to lead for 17:55 of the first half while never trialing. URI took a 35-28 lead into the break.

The Rhody lead was pushed to as many as 15 points following a 3-pointer by Russell at 16:31 of the second half. VCU trimmed the lead to one point following a pair Marcus Santos-Silva baskets, the second coming at 6:48. An Antwan Walker put-back helped Rhody slow the momentum, and URI never relinquished its lead.

The game ended much in the same fashion as it began. Rhode Island forced misses on VCU's final six shots. VCU was scoreless over the final 2:26 as Rhode Island put the game away.

Inside the Box Score

  • Saturday marked Rhody's seventh win in the last eight meetings against VCU.
  • As a team, Rhode Island was 19-for-22 at the free throw line.
  • Senior Jeff Dowtin had a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds. He also was 8-for-10 at the free throw line.
  • URI is now 12-0 when Dowtin scores 20 or more points.
  • Junior Fatts Russell had 16 points and a career-high seven steals.
  • The seven steals tied the single-game school record. It was the ninth time a player has had seven in a game. The last to do so was Stanford Robinson at Fordham on Jan. 24, 2018.
  • Sophomore Tyrese Martin had 13 points and seven rebounds. He also matched his career high with four assists, all of which came in the first half.
  • Senior Cyril Langevine controlled the paint on defense. He had 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and one steal.
  • Redshirt sophomore Antwan Walker gave the team a strong second half. He had five points, scoring twice in the final six minutes to halt VCU's comeback attempt.
  • Rhode Island's perimeter defense held VCU to 21 percent (6-of-28) from the 3-point line. Overall, VCU shot just 31 percent (21-of-67) from the floor.
  • URI had a 10-5 edge in steals, helping it to a 19-14 advantage in points off turnovers.
  • A crowd of 7,637 gave VCU its 145th consecutive sellout.

Up Next
Rhode Island is back in action Wednesday at Saint Joseph's. The game, which will stream on ESPN+ and air locally on Cox/YurView, will tip off at 7:30 p.m.