Sunday, February 1, 2009

URI Beats LaSalle 98-88 In OT, Defense Needs To Improve

Truth be told, URI really should have won this game in regulation, but there defense is so bad that they blew an 11 point lead with just 2:36 left in the game. This is not a surprise, since their defense is ranked 151st in defensive efficiency and are even worse in defensive effective FG%, where they are ranked 255th. Yes, the offense is great since it is the 21st most efficient offense in the nation, but the defense needs to improve if the Rams plan on winning the A-10 tournament. The way I see it, with no more marquee games on their schedule, the only way the Rams can make the NCAA Tournament is if they win the A-10 Tournament, and at this point with such a bad defense, it just doesn't seem likely.

Here's the rundown, via the AP:

Kahiem Seawright had 25 points and eight rebounds, while Delroy James added 22 points to pace Rhode Island to a 98-88 overtime win over La Salle on Saturday.

Lamonte Ulmer finished with 19 points for Rhode Island. The Explorers were led by Rodney Green who hit 7 of 15 from the field for 22 points and five assists. Ruben Guillandeaux chipped in with 15 for La Salle.

Rhode Island (15-7, 4-3 Atlantic 10) led 46-35 at halftime.

La Salle's (12-8, 3-3 A-10) Kimmani Barrett evened the score at 80-80 and sent the game into an extra session when he knocked down a three point shot with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. The Explorers went on a 13-2 run in a span of 2:44 to tie the game in regulation.

The Explorers shot 56.1 percent from the floor to the Rams 55.6 percent.

Also, after the game, coach Jim Baron told the Providence Journal the following:

"This,’’ said Rhody coach Jim Baron in a bit of an understatement, "is a terrific win for us.’"

Sorry coach, but blowing an 11 point lead in the last 2:36 at home, against a team that is ranked as the 109th best team in the country, is not what I would call a terrific win. You just let a team that shoots 51.0% in effective FG%, shoot over 60% in effective FG%, so you should be working on your defense at practice all week and not calling this a terrific win. In fact, I would say the team is lucky they didn't blow this game and if they weren't at home they probably would have.

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