Rhody, Bryant win; Brown falls in Saturday matinees
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Two out of three ain't bad.
On a full day of games for the local college basketball teams, URI and Bryant made it particularly pleasurable for their fans, as both won home games Saturday afternoon. URI topped Vermont 76-66 at the Ryan Center and Bryant edged Army 70-59 for a 4th straight win by the Bulldogs. Brown was the lone road team of the day, and lost at New Hampshire 63-50.
The win for Rhody (2-6) was the first at the Ryan Center for new head coach Dan Hurley. Rhode Island's defense helped the Rams take control of the game in the final 4:31 of the first half as Vermont (4-2) scored just one point during the stretch. A free throw by Brian Voelkel just nine seconds before the half ended was all the Catamounts could muster.
With a 39-25 halftime lead, the Rams maintained a double-digit lead until a late Catamount run in garbage time. Rhode Island led by as many as 22 points before Vermont closed within seven at 68-61 with 58 seconds remaining. Rhode Island pushed the lead back to double digits in the final seconds. Xavier Munford led URI with 25 points, while freshman Mike Aaman scored a career high 15 points - nine in the final four minutes of the first half to help turn a two point lead into 14 at the break. Andre Malone also added 14 points for Rhody, as they will next face Providence Thursday at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Bryant got a 4th straight win, improving to 4-2 on the season, with their 70-59 win at home against Army. And for a third straight game, the Bulldogs defeated a team they had never previously beaten (Brown, Boston College) since moving into Division I. Additionally, Bryant had been 0-7 all time against teams in the Patriot League before Saturday.
Sophomore transfer Dyami Starks led the way with 20 points, and hit 3-of-5 from three-point range, while senior point guard Frankie Dobbs scored 19, adding six rebounds and four assists. Alex Francis also scored 17 points for the Bulldogs, as they shot 45% from the floor and held the Black Knights to just 39% shooting. 53% free throw shooing by Army also helped the cause, as Bryant extended a 32-22 halftime lead.
Starks was awarded the program's first-ever Northeast Conference Player of the Week accolade Monday after averaging 21.0 points per game and guiding Bryant to a 2-0 week last week.
In Durham, NH, New Hampshire held Brown to just eight points in the last 12 minutes to earn a 63-50 come-from-behind win over the Bears at Lundholm Gymnasium. The loss drops the Bears to 3-4 overall, while New Hampshire improves its record to 3-4.
The Bears chose an inopportune time to go ice cold from the field after holding a 42-39 advantage with 12:19 remaining on a jump shot by junior Sean McGonagill (14 points). Brown connected on just one field goal in its last 15 attempts, as the Wildcats rallied down the stretch to put the game away. Senior Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 18 points, but 32% shooting from the floor didn't do the Bears any favors. Brown will next play at Notre Dame on Saturday, December 8 at 7:00 pm.