URI’s Brayon Freeman Turning Season Around
Rhode Island and UMass Lowell are facing each other for just the third time Tuesday night.
The teams played each other in back-to-back years, with the Rams winning 79-68 on Nov. 23, 2013 and then 72-56 on Nov. 16, 2014.
The last time the teams played, Hassan Martin had 18 points and eight rebounds for URI.
UMass Lowell is one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the nation, ranking 23rd while shooting 39.3 percent as a team.
Rhody ranks 29th in the country in 3-point shooting defense, as opponents have shot just 27.6 percent.
UMass Lowell forward Abdoul Karim Coulibaly is shooting 66.3 percent from the floor, which ranks 12th in the country. He averages 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
UMass Lowell are eighth in the country with 29.75 defensive rebounds per game. Opponents have managed just 10.5 offensive rebounds per game.
The River Hawks come to Kingston riding a nine-game winning streak.
Rhode Island is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.
UMass Lowell head coach Pat Duquette has been the only coach of the program since it made the transition to Division I in 2013-14.
BALL MOVEMENT LEADS TO OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY
Rhode Island had a season-high 20 assists last time out against Army, led by guards Brayon Freeman (six assists) and Jalen Carey (five assists).
Freeman has 19 assists over his last six games.
The ball sharing led to a season-high .492 field goal percentage (29-of-59) for the Rams.
The Rams have had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in each of the last three games, combining for 47 assists and 38 turnovers over the stretch.
In the first seven games of the season, Rhode Island had a positive assist-turnover ratio just twice.
Rhode Island has shot better than 44.2 percent from the floor in each of the last three games. The Rams shot better than 44.2 percent once in the first seven games of the year.
Sophomore Sebastian Thomas is tied for sixth in the Atlantic 10 with a 1.9 assist-turnover ratio.
He has a team-high 31 assists with 16 turnovers.
Fellow guard Ishmael Leggett also has 31 assists. He has three or more in seven of 10 games this season.
CAREY PROVIDES SPARK IN RETURN
Redshirt junior guard Jalen Carey returned for the team’s win over Army Dec. 10 after missing the previous five games with an injury.
In 27 minutes off the bench, Carey had a season-high 12 points, six rebounds and a career-best five assists while posting a plus-minus of +8.
Carey has been an efficient scorer when available, shooting .520 from the field (13-of-25).