Second Half Surge Lifts URI over Brown, 59-47

Second Half Surge Lifts URI over Brown, 59-47

Kingston, R.I. - URI used strong defensive pressure that held Brown to 30-percent shooting from the field, to come away with a 59-47 non-league decision over the Bears at the Ryan Center.  The loss drops the Bears to 4-8 overall, while Rhode Island moves to 5-8 overall.


"We're getting better defensively as a team," said Brown head coach Mike Martin, "but we have to convert better inside and at the free throw line. Dan's (Hurley) teams are always aggressive. There's no magic formula.  We just have to work harder."


Senior Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field.  Junior Sean McGonagill also scored in double figures with 10 points, while adding six rebounds and four assists.


Bears' sophomore center Rafael Maia just missed a double-double, scoring eight points and pulling down a career high 15 rebounds.


Brown came into the game as the Ivy League's leader in treys, but was held to just four treys by an overly aggressive Rams defense, connecting on 4-of-17 shots from beyond the three-point arc. The Bears were able to convert just one of their first 13 three-point attempts.


Xavier Munford led URI with 18 points, while Mike Powell chipped in with 16 points, hitting 9-of-12 free throws.


The Bears grabbed an early 10-9 lead following two free throws by senior forward Tyler Ponticelli with 10:50 left in the first half.


Rhode Island outscored the Bears 12-2 over the next eight minutes to pull ahead by a 21-12 margin.  Maia's lay-up with 36 seconds left in the half cut the Rams' lead to 21-14 at intermission. Both squads shot 25-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.


The Bears' cut the Rams' lead to four points, 23-19, on a jump shot by McGonagill with 14:23 remaining.


Rhode Island took control of the game with a 20-6 run to grab a 43-25 advantage with 4:20 remaining on a jump shot by Xavier Montford.


Brown returns home on Tuesday, January 8, for a non-league match-up against Niagara. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.