URI vs. Seton Hall Recap:
The University of Rhode Island men’s basketball team earned their third straight win of the season this past Wednesday, sailing past the Seton Hall Pirates 76-63. The Rams first visit back in the Ryan Center ended victoriously, but their "ruckus" was not in the stands to cheer them off the court.
Before their home-court win, the Rams were 2-2 after playing in Mohegan Sun’s “Bubbleville” for their first four games of the season. Both of their victories, and this one included, have been double-digit wins. Head Coach David Cox and his squad stepped out onto the Ryan Center floors hot, coming off of two back-to-back wins only to make it their third.
The Rams took a solid nine-point run right off the bat, with the first points on the board coming from Jeremy Sheppard. Sheppard totaled 14 points Wednesday, while also grabbing four boards and two assists.
Seton Hall trailed behind in the first half, until it came down to the final minute before entering the locker room. Jared Rhoden put up a jump shot in the paint to put the Pirates up by one, their first lead of the game. Senior Jermaine Harris quickly retaliated with a layup of his own to put the Rams up by one going into the half.
In the second half alone the score was tied three times, but with three minutes remaining Rhody took control. They held the Pirates to a scoreless final three minutes, ending with a 10-0 run closed off by a three-point shot from Fatts Russell to end the game.
Despite their loss, the top game scorer came from the Seton Hall side. Sandro Mamukelashvili had a whopping 25 points, 10 rebounds and shot fifty percent from three-point territory.
Speaking of three-point range, Sheppard and true freshman Ishmael Leggett both shot one hundred percent from behind the arc. Leggett had a career-high this game with 11 points, only missing one of his total attempts to the basket: a single free throw at the charity stripe.
URI at Western Kentucky Preview:
The Rams will be heading down to Bowling Green to take on Western Kentucky University Sunday, Dec. 13. As of right now, the Hilltoppers are on a two-game losing streak, but they still have to face Mississippi Valley State before playing Rhody. That game will take place this Sunday, giving them a week to prepare for the Rams arrival in the Diddle Arena.
All and all, Western Kentucky is 2-2 with both of their wins being in a single-digit differential over their opponents.
The Rams front court needs to look out for junior center, Charles Bassey, who was recently added to the Wooden Award watchlist. Coming from Nigeria and standing at six-foot-eleven, Bassey averages 15 points and four blocks per game this season. However in the Hilltoppers game against Memphis on Thanksgiving he surpassed both of those averages putting up 21 points and seven blocks, given his height these numbers should come as no surprise.
Last season, Western Kentucky went 20-10, winning all but two games at home. They also went 13-5 in their conference, Conference USA, finishing third behind North Texas and LA Tech.