video: NEW: URI Wins A-10 Championship Beating VCU 70-63

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Joe Calabro, GoLocalProv Sports Team

E.C. Matthews
The URI Rams have won the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship.

URI defeated the VCU Rams 70-63 on Sunday afternoon to win their first tournament title since 1999.

The win also clinches URI's first NCAA Tournament bid since that same year. 

URI Seals A-10 Championship

After leading by 13 to start the second half, URI saw VCU get as close as five points, 53-48, with 9:44 to play in the game, but Rhode Island would recover. 

URI would go on an 11-5 run over the next four minutes to take a 64-53 lead with 5 minutes to play following two free throws from Jared Terrell. 

VCU would cut it to four, 64-61 with under two minutes to play, but E.C. Matthews would convert a layup on the offensive end to push the Rams lead back up to five, 66-61, with under a minute to play.

After VCU cut it to three, 66-63, with just over 30 seconds left, URI’s Jared Terrell knocked down two free throws to again push Rhode Island’s lead to five. 

Critical Defensive Stop 

With a five point lead in tack and 30 seconds left, URI’s Stanford Robinson dove on top of a loose ball and quickly called a time out. 

On the Rams ensuing possession following a time out, Matthews knocked down two free throws to give the Rams a 70-63 lead and seal the win. 

URI's Hot Shooting Gives Them Early Control 

The Rams opened the championship game much like they did the semifinal game against Davidson, with red hot shooting. 

URI shot 50% from the field in the first half and 46% from three, connecting on six of 13 three-point attempts. URI had nine threes in the first half against Davidson. 

Leading 18-10 with 12:52 left in the half following a three from VCU’s Doug Brooks, the Rams went on an 11-2 run capped off by a Hassan Martin dunk to give URI a 29-12 lead with 8:59 to play. 

VCU would get back within ten, 31-21, after a free throw from Jordan Burgess went down but the Rams hot shooting would continue. 

On their next possession, URI’s Matthews knocked down a three to push the Rams lead up to 34-21 with 4:34 left to go in the half. 

VCU closed to within 11, 38-27, in the final 30 seconds of the half before the Jared Terrell would get a jumper from the side of the basket to go with fives seconds left to give URI a 13 point lead, 40-27, at the half. 

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