Men's Basketball Defeats Rhode Island, 49-44
Feb. 9, 2005
KINGSTON, R.I. - UMass won its third straight road game as the Minutemen downed A-10 rival Rhode Island 49-44 on Wednesday night at the Ryan Center in a defensive struggle. The Minutemen moved to 12-8 overall, 6-4 in the conference for UMass is four games over .500 for the first time since starting the 2001-02 season 4-0. Injury-plagued Rhode Island is now 4-16, 2-7 in the A-10.
Maurice Maxwell (Philadelphia, Pa.) led UMass' scoring brigade with 14 points Maxwell scored in double-figures for the seventh game in a row and eighth time in nine games. Over the last seven games he is scoring 14.9 ppg. Rhode Island was led by Will Daniels who had 15 points - as the Rams' only double-figure scorer.
Defense was the order of the day as UMass had its best defensive effort of the season allowing just 44 points and best in any game since holding Rhode Island to just 37 points in a 57-37 win on Feb. 22, 2000 in Providence.
The Minutemen took a 31-26 lead with 10:52 left in the game and went on a 7-0 run to lead 38-26 with just 8:33 left. Rhode Island cut the lead to six in the final minute, but UMass was able to preserve the win in the final seconds as Jeff Viggiano (Suffield, Conn.) made one free throw with 26 seconds left.
The first half was a tight defensive one with neither team leading by more than five points until Anthony Anderson nailed a three-point field goal with 1:56 left in the half for the final points of half, giving UMass a 20-14 lead at intermission. The 14 points allowed in the half was UMass' best defensive effort in a half since also allowing 14 in the first half against Richmond on Feb. 12, 2003.
The Rams missed their final seven shots of the half and had six turnovers as they were held scoreless for the final 7:41 of the first half. Rhode Island shot just 23 percent in the first 20 minutes (7-for-30). The Rams also missed all 11 three-pointers they attempted in the first half.
Rhode Island took its first lead of the game at 10-9 with 10:58 left in the first half on a Hazelton lay-up. UMass opened the game on a 6-2 run as Rhode Island made just one its first nine shots while Maxwell made a pair of baskets.
UMass continues its two-game road swing against another team nicknamed Rams, as the Minutemen face Fordham on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rose Hill Gym. UMass returns to the Mullins Center for a big game against ACC foe Florida State on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.