URI remains perfect in the A-10 as Dan Hurley gets his first win at VCU
By HANK KURZ Jr. = AP Sports Writer= RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ E.C. Matthews scored 18 points, Jared Terrell had 16 and No. 22 Rhode Island beat VCU 81-68 on Friday night for its 14th consecutive victory.
Cyril Langevine added 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the visiting Rams (19-3, 11-0 Atlantic 10) in a matchup of teams with the same nickname. The winning streak is the program's longest since the 1930-40 Rams won 15 straight. URI also stretched its road winning streak in conference games to 11, the longest such streak in program history.
Justin Tillman scored 22 points to lead VCU (14-9, 6-4), which dropped out of a three-way tie for second place in the conference. Sean Mobley added 15, all in the first half.
Rhode Island scored 13 of the first 20 points after halftime to open a 54-45 lead, its biggest of the game at that point. Consecutive baskets by VCU closed the gap to 54-49, but Rhode Island scored 10 of the next 15 points and VCU never got closer than six again. Rhode Island also out-rebounded VCU 47-31.
The first half was played at a breakneck pace, with URI pulling away from a 27-all tie by scoring nine straight points. Mobley then hit three 3-pointers in a span of less than two minutes before Rhode Island led 41-38 at halftime.
BIG PICTURE Rhode Island: The Rams' winning streak coincides with Matthews' return from a broken wrist. In coach Dan Hurley's favored four-guard lineup, Matthews, Terrell, Jeff Dowtin and Stanford Russell also make it difficult for even defensively disruptive teams to cause ball security issues. URI had just eight turnovers against VCU.
VCU: Tillman was his usually effective self, but the Rams' No. 2 scorer (13.1 ppg) managed just nine points and No. 3 scorer Johnny Williams (10.2) had just two. VCU also was sloppy too often with the ball, committing 14 turnovers that Rhode Island turned into 16 points. UP NEXT
Rhode Island has a week off before playing at home against Davidson next Friday night. VCU plays at cross-town rival Richmond on Wednesday night.