Rhode Island Holds Off Late UMass Charge, 93-85
Feb. 6, 2010
KINGSTON, R.I. - The longest-running rivalry in UMass basketball history had another chapter written on Saturday afternoon at the Ryan Center as the Minutemen (8-15, 2-7 A-10) lost at Rhode Island, 93-85. The Minutemen made things interesting late, erasing a 24-point deficit by scoring 21 points in the final 3:45 to pull within six with under a minute to go. The Rams (19-3, 7-2 A-10 and No. 12 in the RPI) pressured UMass all afternoon forcing the Minutemen into 21 turnovers including 17 in the first half alone.
The bright spot was senior Ricky Harris, who moved to fourth in career scoring at UMass with a season-best 32. With his 1,760, he passed Rashaun Freeman (1,744) and Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) in the game. After being held scoreless for over 36 minutes, Anthony Gurley scored 15 points in the final three and a half minutes. Sean Carter added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Terrell Vinson had 10 points.
UMass trailed by as much as 24 midway through the second half, but mounted a late comeback, led by all 15 of Gurley's points to pull within single digits and as close as six with 16 seconds left on a Gurley 3-pointer. Two clutch free throws by Delroy James with 15 seconds left iced the game for the Rams.
Rhode Island had five players scored in double-figures led Akeem Richmond with 19. Lamonte Ulmer (17 points and 10 rebounds). Will Martell (13), James (13) and Keith Cothran (10) also scored 10 or more for the Rams. Rhody gained a measure of revenge after UMass severely hurt their NCAA Tournament hopes last season with a 72-71 win in the regular-season finale at the Ryan Center.
Rhode Island came out with a press and blitzed UMass with defense to take an 18-9 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half as the Rams finished a 10-0 run. The Minutemen turned the ball over 11 times in the game's first 8:44 leading to 12 Ram points. UMass countered with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-16 on a Harris jumper with 9:14 left in the first half.
Martell was unstoppable for the Rams as he scored seven points in a row to give URI a 37-22 lead with 3:27 left in the first half. The 7-0 canned four first-half jump shots and made 6-of-8 from the field overall before halftime.
Richmond's 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left in the first half was the exclamation point for the Rams, who led 46-29 at intermission. Harris did have a game-high 17 for the Minutemen in the first 20 minutes.
After being down by as many as 19 in the final seconds of the first half, UMass scored the first eight points of the second half and 11 of the first 13 points to cut the deficit to 48-41, 4:17 into the second. But the Rams answered by scoring the next 10 points to regain a lead of 17 at 58-41 on Delroy James and Orion Outerbridge breakaway dunks.
UMass plays at Duquesne on Thursday night, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. The game will air on Comcast SportsNet New England. The Minutemen's next home game is set for Sunday, Feb. 14 vs. Saint Joseph's at 4 p.m. That game will air nationally on CBS College Sports.
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