URI Outlasts UMass Lowell In Overtime Tuesday
By Jake Brown
Rhode Island Starters
Samb, Freeman, Leggett, Martin, Bilau
UMass Lowell Starters
Hammond, Hikim, Brooks, Coulibaly, Blunt
How It Happened
Ishmael Leggett hit two clutch free throws with six seconds left in overtime to provide the winning points as Rhode Island knocked off UMass Lowell 77-75 Tuesday night.
The Rams (4-7) trailed by three with 1:56 to go in the extra period before Leggett drained a long 3-point shot to tie the score. After UMass Lowell (11-2) came up empty despite a second-chance opportunity, Rhody took a 75-73 lead on a Brayon Freeman jumper with 51 seconds to go.
The visiting River Hawks – who had won nine straight coming into the game – tied the game on a Ayinde Hikim basket in the paint with 36 seconds to go. The Rams ran the shot clock down and Leggett’s shot was blocked out of bounds with eight seconds on the game clock and three on the shot clock. Off the inbounds pass, Leggett drew a foul on Yuri Covington to get to the line, where he sank both shots.
A last-second drive by Hikim went off the rim, and Rhode Island held on for its second win in a row.
The overtime was set up by several big plays down the stretch for Rhode Island. The Rams trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before slowly chipping away. Trailing by six with two minutes left in regulation, Leggett hit a layup. After a defensive stop, Malik Martin scored on an offensive put back to make it a two-point game with 56 seconds to go.
On UMass Lowell’s next possession Jalen Carey made the biggest defensive play of the night, getting a steal and drawing a foul as he drove the length of the court. Carey hit both free throws to tie the game 62-62 with 34 seconds to go. Coming out of a timeout, the River Hawks scored off a floater from Ayinde Hikim, giving them a 64-62 advantage. Going the length of the court with six seconds remaining, Brayon Freeman beat a couple of defenders to sink the game tying layup at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime, where the Rams prevailed.
Inside the Box Score
- Rhode Island won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
- The Rams had four players in double figures for the second straight game. Ishmael Leggett led the way with 19, while Brayon Freeman added 17.
- Malik Martin had 12 points and Jalen Carey added 11.
- Martin had a classic Martin game, filling the box score. Besides the 12 points, he had seven rebounds, four steals and an assist.
- Freeman was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
- Abdou Samb had a strong all-around game. He scored seven points – including a key putback late – and had 10 rebounds.
- Rhode Island was 22-for-26 from the free throw line. Leggett was 7-for-8, Samb 3-for-3, Martin 3-for-3 and Carey 5-for-6.
- Sebastian Thomas had six points, three assists, and two rebounds off the bench.
- Rhode Island had 21 second-chance points to 13 for UMass Lowell.
Rhode Island hits the road for a game at Georgia State on Sunday, Dec. 18. Game time is 2 p.m. on ESPN+.