RICHMOND, Va–VCU entered today undefeated in Atlantic-10 play, and almost everyone was preparing for a clash between two teams undefeated in conference play on Tuesday night between VCU and Dayton.
Rhode Island’s seniors had something to say about that.
Rhode Island’s two senior starters Jeff Dowtin and Cyril Langevine entered today 6-1 in their college career against VCU, two more wins than any other seniors in the conference can claim over the last four years. It’s safe to say the senior class wasn’t satisfied with six as Dowtin lead the team in scoring with 21 points, along with 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Langevine wasn’t too bad himself, leading URI in blocks (3) and rebounds (12).
Despite being 8.5 point underdogs today according to Vegas, URI completely controlled today’s game. They never trailed, and dominated defensively, completely denying VCU’s guards from having any success driving to the lane, and center Cyril Langevine was the catalyst for URI defensively, offering an interior presence VCU wasn’t prepared for.
Despite never leading, there were moments where it looked like VCU was about to take over the game. Specifically, when the lead was cut to one at 51-50 with 6:46 remaining off of a Marcus Santos-Silva second chance layup, making it the closest it had been since it was 9-9 in the first half.
This was the point where it seemed like VCU had taken over. The Siegel center was rocking, and the poise URI showed in the first half against VCU’s havoc defense looked like it had completely disappeared.
As they did all game long, URI answered, this time emphatically by scoring on their next eight possessions, extending the lead to 65-56 with 1:51 left. VCU just couldn’t get a stop before it was too late and neither team would score after URI’s run.
VCU (12-4, 2-1) will follow this game with what now seems like the most important game of the Rams season with a matchup at Dayton on tuesday night.
URI (10-5, 2-1) will remain on the road wednesday night with a matchup against St. Joseph’s. The Rams will be looking for their third straight conference victory, while St. Joseph will be looking for their first conference win, as they’ll enter that game 0-4 in conference play.