Thanks to a cold snap in the second half, the University of Rhode Island men’s basketball team couldn’t keep up with Virginia Commonwealth, falling 70-64 on Wednesday night.
A late run by Rhody (6-13, 1-5 Atlantic 10) made the final a bit closer, as VCU (17-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10) struggled to put URI away. VCU led by 15 points with four minutes remaining.
Three-point shots by Xavier Munford, Andre Malone and T.J. Buchanan got URI as close as five in the final two minutes, but VCU hit enough free throws down the stretch to win.
However, a usual malady struck URI in the second half, as Rhody went long stretches without scoring. After just seven first half turnovers, the press wore URI down, as they committed 11 in the second half. URI’s shooting also eroded, from 50 percent at the half to 39.3 percent in the second.
Munford led Rhody with 17 points, although he shot an inefficient 6-for-15 to do it. The guard struggled against the pressure of VCU’s backcourt, committing five turnovers.
URI also had no answer for VCU inside, as Juvonte Reddic and Treveon Graham used a variety of moves to score in the paint. Reddic finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Graham had a game-high 19 points, including 8-for-11 from the line.
Rhody plays at Butler (17-3, 4-1 Atlantic 10) 2 p.m. Saturday. URI is next at-home against St. Bonaventure (9-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.