URI Falls Short, Loses at Fordham 85-79
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Branden Frazier scored 27 points on 10-14 shooting, dished out 7 assists, and made clutch baskets and free throws down the stretch to lead Fordham to an 85-79 victory over URI Saturday night.
Mandell Thomas shot 4-5 from 3 point range and scored 18 points for Fordham, who also received 16 points off the bench from Jon Severe.
In a game that was close in every statistical aspect, Fordham was just a little bit better shooting and rebounding the basketball on Saturday, earning their second Atlantic 10 win of the season in the process.
For Rhody, it was a big letdown after Saturday’s win over Dayton offered a glimmer of hope that they could accelerate their program overhaul faster than expected and ruffle some feathers in the Atlantic 10 this season.
It wasn’t meant to be. For the 3rd straight season, URI traveled to face a Fordham team sitting at or near the bottom of the conference standings, only to lose a close game (all 3 losses have been by a combined 11 points).
It’s been a wild season in the Atlantic 10, and the parity in the conference is as strong as ever. Earlier in the day Saturday the conference saw it’s only winless team (George Mason) go on the road against the only unbeaten team in the league (St. Louis) and drag the game into overtime before falling just short.
URI is not St. Louis. At the same time, Fordham is a consistent bottom feeder in the conference and Saturday’s loss is a painful reminder that right now URI is also at the bottom of the proverbial food chain in the A-10.
E.C. Matthews scored 20 points on 8-14 shooting to lead 5 players in double figures for URI. Xavier Munford added 16 points, Gilvydas Biruta had 14 points, Jarelle Resichel had 11 (off the bench), and Hassan Martin scored 10 points.
The game was a back and forth affair for the entire first half, with Fordham taking a 37-36 lead into the break behind 14 points from Frazier.
The second half was much of the same early on, but Fordham slowly edged ahead and led by 10 points late in the half. An 8-0 URI run cut the deficit to 2 points, and the teams traded baskets for a few possessions down the stretch.
URI’s last gasp came on a long 3 pointer from Munford to make it an 82-79 game with 20 seconds to play. Fordham made their free throws from that point on, however, and Rhody never had a chance to steal the game late.
Fordham improves to 2-6 in the Atlantic 10 and 9-12 overall. URI falls to 2-5 in conference play and 11-11 overall.
URI next plays Thursday at Virginia Commonwealth. Rhody returns home next Sunday, February 9th, to take on UMass.