Rhode Island (3-7) used its most efficient offensive performance of
the season to win for the third time in five games, knocking off SMU
(8-2) 72-50 Saturday afternoon. It was the largest margin of victory
this year for the Rams.
Four Rams scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Mike Powell's 18 points. As a team, Rhody shot a season-best 49 percent (25-of-51)) from the floor, including 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Rams also continued its strong shooting from the free throw line, making 12-of-14 (85.7 percent) from the line.
After Andre Malone hit a 3-point shot to tie the score with 15:04 remaining in the first half, the Rams never trailed again. The score was tied just twice the rest of the way, including 29-29 with 17:54 remaining. Rhode Island steadily built its lead the rest of the way behind a balance attack.
Inside the Box Score and Beyond:
* Sophomore Mike Powell played one of the finest games of his career, finishing with 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor, including all three of his 3-point attempts. He added a career-high six steals to go with four assists in 35 minutes. He also made 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
* When Powell came out for a breather at 13:38 of the first half, it ended a stretch of 55 minutes and 39 seconds in the lineup for him. Powell played all 40 minutes the last time out at Providence, and the final 9:17 against Vermont in the game before that. Powell has played a team-high 380 minutes this season.
* Junior Xavier Munford scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Limited to seven minutes in the first half after a collision on the floor, Munford was 5-of-10 over the final 20 minutes. It was the second straight game he has reached double figures without making a 3-pointer.
* Senior Andre Malone finished with 15 points and a team-high eight
rebounds. He made four 3-point shots. Also in double figures was senior Nikola Malesevic, who finished with 12 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
* Rhode Island continues to incorporate better ball movement on offense. With a season-best 17 assists as a team, Rhode Island reached double digits for the fifth consecutive games. The Rams have 67 assists over their last five games. Rhody did not reach double digits in assists in the first five games over the year, and had just 31 total in that stretch.
* With all four of his field goals coming via dunks, freshman Jordan Hare's last 10 baskets have been slam dunks. He was 6-for-7 on field goals against Providence, with all six makes being dunks. Hare finished with nine points.
* Over its last three games, Rhode Island has made 87.5 percent of
its free throw attempts. The Rams are 49-of-56 over the stretch.
* Seven of Rhode Island's first 10 shots from the floor were 3-point attempts. The 10 total makes was the second highest of the season, behind only the 13 3-pointers made at Auburn.
* Rhode Island scored 22 points off of 22 SMU turnovers.
The Rams have a full week off until they host Georgia State Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m