URI Falls 76-69 at Dayton
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Dyshawn Pierre scored 21 points and Dayton made 85% of their free throw attempts as the Flyers outgunned URI 76-69 Wednesday night.
Dayton improves to 17-8 with the win, including 5-5 in Atlantic 10 play. The Flyers led for the entirety of the second half and made some clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin were the bright spots for Rhody, as the freshmen tandem were arguably the two best players on the floor Wednesday night. Matthews led all scorers with 22 points (on 8-14 shooting), including scoring 17 of the Rams’ 35 second half points. Martin had a game-high 13 rebounds and also scored 14 points on 6-9 shooting.
URI won most of the major box score battles as a team. The Rams shot 52% for the game, dished out 13 assists, and secured 32 rebounds. Conversely, Dayton shot just 42%, registered 8 assists, and pulled down 29 rebounds as a team.
The difference was on the defensive end and on the free throw line. URI wasn’t shabby at the charity stripe, shooting 15-21 (71%), but Dayton was an incredible 23-27 as a team. As Matthews and the Rams made their last ditch comeback attempt late in the game, the Flyers made 7 out of their 8 free throw attempts in the final minute to put the nail in URI’s coffin.
Defensively the Flyers had 5 steals and URI committed a costly 18 turnovers. Rhody had just 1 steal of its own and forced Dayton into just 8 turnovers.
On a night where the Rams shot so well from the field, it was disappointing to surrender so many valuable possessions by way of the turnover. URI Head Coach Dan Hurley showed his frustrations often in the second half, as URI dug a double digit hole they never successfully climbed out of.
Dayton made a 15-2 run in a short period of time coinciding with the end of the first half and the beginning of the second. Despite an encouraging performance from both of Hurley’s prized freshmen, URI simply threw away too many chances to have an opportunity to win a road game in the A-10.
URI falls to 2-8 in A-10 conference play, and the Rams are now 11-14 overall this season. URI returns home for their next game, this Saturday at noon against Duquesne.
--Hurley utilized a 2-3 zone in the second half and the Rams had a great deal of success getting stops out of it. Given URI’s struggles with depth and foul trouble, it might not be a bad idea to experiment with more zone in the coming games.
--Xavier Munford was held to 12 points Wednesday, and while it’s easy to point to his reduced scoring as a pitfall to URI’s performance, the assertion simply isn’t true. URI was very effective offensively when they took care of the ball, and Dayton’s decision to focus on Munford allowed Matthews and company more opportunities to score. Munford himself finished 3-8 from the floor, so it’s not as if he was inefficient or hurting the team by not being the primary offensive focus. URI lost this game with some defensive lapses and their poor ball handling. Dayton also deserves credit for playing mistake-free and making their free throws when they needed to. The result of the game had little to do with Munford’s production.
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