SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – The pace was in the eighties. Not a shock at all. It would have been if the tempo was more pedestrian 60 something. At any rate, playing a speed both clubs enjoy, Rhode Island defeated Iona 88-75. The first round NIT game at URI’s Ryan Centers saw the Rams improve to 23-9 while Iona finishes 26-9. The Gaels had 84 possessions to the 82 of Rhode Island.
Rhode Island 110
The difference: The Four Factors were relatively even. The noticeable separation was in eFG shooting. Iona shot just 38 percent to the 45.2 percent of URI. The latter figure is not great, but given the defense holding the opposition under 40 percent, it sufficed for the victory.
Iona shot the three liberally, struggling to hit (6 of 23 for 26 percent). URI was 8 of 17 (47 percent) from three. Thus the eFG disparities.
Despite the rapid pace, fueled not only by the coaches but remember the 30 second clock for the tournament, the turnover rates were excellent. Iona at 14.3 and URI at 12.5%. Obviously, given a faster tempo both offenses still took good care of the ball.
A.J. English, Iona: 28 points, Efficiency 24, pulled down 9 rebounds had 6 assists and 4 steals. The downside, a game-high 8 turnovers. Ouch.
David Laury, Iona: 26 points. Game high scorer with a game pace setting 25 efficiency. Also led with 17 boards.
E.C. Matthews, URI: 18 points, 17 efficiency.
Jarvis Garrett, URI: 10 assists against 1 turnover. A 17 efficiency.
Jared Terrell, Freshman guard for URI: equaling Matthews’ 18 points to share the team scoring honors.
Hassan Martin, URI, 11 boards, six rejections for the 6-7 sophomore forward.