Rhode Island Holds Off Late Brown Rally, 75-66

Providence, R.I. -  Xavier Munford and EC Matthews combined for 45 points as Rhode Island held off a frenetic comeback bid by Brown in a 75-66 over the Bears at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  The win lifts Rhode Island to 8-6 overall, while Brown falls to 6-6 for the season.

 

Trailing by as many as 20 points midway through the second half, Brown rallied with a 23-5 run to pull to within two points with 3:16 remaining, 67-65, on a trey by freshman Tavon Blackmon.

 

After the Bears missed two three-point attempts, the Rams answered with a basket by EC Matthews and two free throws by TJ Buchanan with 54 seconds remaining, to go back up by six points, 71-65, and put the game out of reach.

 

Brown senior guard Sean McGonagill, the Ivy League's leading scorer, paced the Bears once again with 24 points, including 15 in the second half.  He connected on 9-of-18 field goals, including 4-of-9 from behind the three-point arc.

 

McGonagill leaped into sixth place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,342 career points, moving three spots past Joe Tebo (1,319 points from 1955-59), Marcus Thompson (1,328 points from 1985-89) and former head coach Mike Cingiser (1,331 points from 1959-62).

 

Bears' freshman Norman Hobbie scored 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point arc, while Blackmon added 11 points.

 

Brown's 42-36 rebounding advantage was led by junior Rafael Maia, who grabbed a game high 11 rebounds, while adding seven points.

 

Munford scored a game high 25 points on 8-of 16 shooting from the field to lead the Rams. Matthews tossed in 21 points, connecting on 7-of-12 field goals.  Hassan Martin grabbed a team high nine rebounds and blocked six shots.

 

The 155th meeting between the two Ocean State teams started out as a chess match with neither team leading by more than four points in the opening 14 minutes.

 

Brown held a 20-18 lead with 6:44 remaining in opening half following a layup by freshman Tavon Blackmon.

 

The Rams countered with a 9-0 run to pull ahead by seven points, 27-20, on a three-point play by EC Matthews with 5:15 remaining in the half.

Rhode Island later extended its lead to 15 points at the half to finish off a 25-8 run and grab a 43-28 lead at intermission on a buzzer beater trey by Montford.

 

The Bears are off this weekend and will be back in action again with a midweek home game against New Hampshire on Tuesday, January 7 at the Pizzitola Sports Center, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm.