URI Snaps Three Game Losing Skid Against Army
Rhode Island made winning plays down the stretch to knock off Army 77-67 and snap a three-game skid Saturday afternoon.
The Rams (3-7) found themselves in a similar situation to its loss against Brown earlier in the week, as a double-digit lead shrunk to a one-possession game in the final minutes. After leading by 13 with 11:53 to go, the Rams saw their advantage get trimmed to three points with 3:10 to go. This time, Rhode Island showed growth, holding on to the lead and pulling away down the stretch.
Army (5-6) got a layup from Matt Dove to pull within 65-62, but Sebastian Thomas responded with a layup of his own for URI. The Black Knights came right back with a Jalen Rucker layup to keep the pressure on.
On its next possession, Rhode Island got an offensive rebound from Josaphat Bilau off a missed 3-point shot. With the shot clock winding down, Thomas drove the lane and found Malik Martin for a layup to push the lead back to five points with 2:00 remaining.
Following a defensive stop, the Rams again got an offensive rebound as Jalen Carey grabbed a loose ball. For the second straight possession, Rhody scored second-chance points as Bilau hit a jumper off an assist from Thomas to make it a three-possession game with 51 seconds to go.
From there, Rhode Island iced the game at the free throw line, as Carey was 2-for-2 and Ishmael Leggett hit four straight at the line to secure the victory.
Inside the Box Score
Rhode Island defeated Army for the first time. The only previous meeting between the schools happened during the 1954-55 season.
Sophomore Ishmael Leggett recorded his first career double-double, finishing with a game-high 16 points to go with a career-high 10 rebounds.
It was Leggett’s 10th straight game with 10 or more points.
Redshirt senior Malik Martin matched his career high with 12 rebounds. He was a major reason the Rams outrebounded Army, 42-25.
Martin just missed a double-double of his own, as he had nine points to go with three assists.
Redshirt Junior Jalen Carey returned after missing the previous five games and had 12 points, six rebounds and a career-high five assists.
Sophomore Brayon Freeman had 13 points and a season-high six assists. Freeman also came up with three steals on the defensive end.
Redshirt sophomore Josaphat Bilau was the fourth Ram in double figures, adding 10 points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Sebastian Thomas had had a huge second half, scoring all eight of his points and adding two key assists in 14 minutes after the break.
Rhode Island had a season-best 20 assists on its 29 field goals.
As a team, the Rams were 13-of-15 at the free throw line, including 6-for-6 in the final. Carey and Leggett both made all four of their attempts at the line.
Rhode Island scored a season-high 34 points in the first half. Rhody shot a season-best 48.5 percent (16-of-33) before the break.
Rhode Island is back at home Tuesday night when it hosts UMass Lowell at the Ryan Center. Game time is 7 p.m. and the contest will be streamed on ESPN+.