Rams Start Fast, Tame Wildcats 62-45
Sunday, December 22, 2013
KINGSTON, RI-- URI raced out to a 22-2 lead, and Gilvydas Biruta had 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Rams won an ugly one Sunday at the Ryan Center over New Hampshire, 62-45.
It was Rhody’s first game in 2 weeks, coming off a 3 game losing streak and exam break. The game was over early, however, with URI playing solid defense early and the Wildcats failing to muster up anything resembling offense.
UNH didn’t score a field goal until there was 7:49 to go in the first half. The Wildcats finished the first half 2-21 (9.5%) from the field. Ball movement was a problem: UNH didn’t have an assist until there was less than 5 minutes to go…in the 2nd half!
“I think we did a good job in the time off of really getting back to the fundamentals on defense,” said URI Head Coach Dan Hurley.
Biggie Minnis shot 5-7 from the floor and finished with 13 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds out of the point guard spot. Xavier Muford added 11 points, putting 3 Rams in double figures to the Wildcats’ 0.
UNH was without their top player and leading scorer, Center Chris Pelcher. The Wildcats seemed overmatched inside on both ends of the floor and had no answer for Biruta.
URI outrebounded UNH 44-34 and won the assist battle 14-2. The Rams only shot 42% from the floor (21-50) but it was more than enough as they ran away with a game that was not as close as the final score indicated.
--Matthew Butler looks like the biggest beneficiary minutes-wise of the Rams’ lack of bodies right now. With Mike Powell seeking a transfer, Mike Aaman’s injury status unclear, and Jordan Hare on leave of absence, URI only has 9 scholarship players available at the moment. Butler had been used sparingly and hadn’t played in 4 games before Sunday, but he played 14 minutes off the bench against UNH.
--Speaking of Aaman, he was on the bench in sweats Sunday and seemed to be in good spirits. Hurley said after the game that Aaman will be out indefinitely, “wanting to make sure that we take care of his long term health and the rest of his life beyond basketball.” Aaman was the victim of an alleged assault outside a Narragansett house party last weekend, according to a police report obtained by the South County Independent. His left eye looked to be in rough shape on Sunday.
--Hurley took the blame for the Rams being limited roster-wise postgame and said he felt that even though there are some empty seats the bus, he likes the people who are on it.