Rhody Blows Early Lead, Misses Buzzer Beater, Loses to George Washington
Rhode Island lost at the Ryan Center for the first time this season as George Washington came back from a 15-point deficit and handed the Rams a 63-61 loss Saturday afternoon.
Rhode Island (12-5, 3-2 A-10) came out firing on all cylinders, limiting the Colonials (6-11, 2-3 A-10) to just one basket through the game’s first nine minutes. During that span, GW was 1-of-11 from the field, allowing Rhody to build a 15-point lead after an Antwan Walker layup put the Rams up 18-3. George Washington reversed its course throughout the remainder of the half however, connecting on 16-of-24 attempts to cut URI’s lead to eight (33-25) heading into the break.
The Rams held GW leading scorers James Bishop and Joe Bamisile to a combined 0-for-6 showing in the opening period, thanks in part to Bamisile being limited to just seven minutes due to foul trouble.
With Rhody later up 47-38, the Colonials scored 10 unanswered points over a span of two minutes to take their first lead of the game (48-47) at the midway point of the second half.
The game featured seven lead changes and six ties over the final 10 minutes, with neither team leading by more than two points.
With George Washington on top 62-61 and just 15 seconds left in regulation, Makhel Mitchell recorded his sixth block of the game on a shot by Brayon Freeman, swatting the ball out of bounds with 2 seconds on the shot clock. Makhi Mitchell then batted Bishop’s first inbound attempt back out of bounds to take one tick off the shot clock. Bishop’s second inbound attempt went to Bamisile, who was unable to get a shot off in time, giving Rhody the ball for what could have been the game’s final possession.
Jeremy Sheppard turned it over on a behind-the-back dribble however, causing Rhody to send Qwanzi Samuels to the line in an attempt to get the ball back with :05 left to play. Samuels connected on 1-of-2 to give the Colonials a 63-61 advantage, which stood as the final score after Ishmael El-Amin’s final-second 3-pointer clanked off the rim.
Inside the Box Score
Ishmael Leggett narrowly missed a double-double, finishing the game with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Makhel Mitchell also scored 11 for Rhody, while adding seven rebounds, six blocks, two assists and one steal. It is the fifth time this season he blocks at least four shots in a game.
Jeremy Sheppard led the Rams in scoring with 12 points. He also had two steals and a pair of assists.
Makhi Mitchell pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Antwan Walker recorded eight points and five rebounds off the bench for Rhode Island.
Hunter Dean and James Bishop each scored a game-high 15 points for the Colonials.
For the second game in a row, the Rams struggled at the free-throw line. Rhody was just 15-of-31 after going 9-for-22 against La Salle on Wednesday night.
The Rams shot a season-low 10.5 percent from three-point territory, connecting on just 2-of-19 attempts from the perimeter.
Rhode Island is back in action on Tuesday night when it hosts Richmond at 6:30 p.m.