Matthews Scores 20 Points, URI Wins Big Over Florida Gulf Coast in Non-Conference Finale
All five starters scored in double figures as Rhode Island (8-3) pulled away from Florida Gulf Coast to win its third straight game, 80-60, Wednesday night.
FGCU (7-8) led 32-28 with 3:15 to go in the first half when the Rams exploded, scoring 10 unanswered points to close out the period. E.C. Matthews scored eight points during the spurt to send the Rams into the break up by six, 38-32.
The Rhody defense keep the pressure on in the second half, helping Rhode Island establish a double-digit lead on Stanford Robinson's layup at the 15:47 mark. Though the visiting Eagles briefly cut the lead to nine, Rhode Island steadily built its lead, going ahead by as many as 23 points en route to the win.
Inside the Box Score
Senior E.C. Matthews finished with a game-high 20 points on a very efficient night. He was 5-of-9 from the floor, 3-of-6 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 at the free throw line. He added six rebounds and two steals. Senior Jared Terrell had 18 points and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line. He also had six assists in what head coach Dan Hurley called Terrell's best passing game of the season. Senior Stanford Robinson filled the stat sheet again, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one assist in 24 minutes. Sophomore Jeff Dowtin had 11 points, six assists, three rebounds and one blocked shot. Senior Andre Berry was the fifth Ram in double figures, scoring 10 points and blocking two shots. Rhode Island had 17 assists on 27 field goals. The Rams also had just five turnovers, a season low. The defense held FGCU to 22.2 percent (2-for-9) from 3-point range, a season low for the Eagles. Rhode Island also did not allow a fast break point. The Rams were 10-of-26 from beyond the arc, the first time this season Rhody has made 10 3-pointers. Rhode Island closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule ranked No. 20 in RPI and No. 13 in strength of schedule. Stat of the Game 84 - Rhode Island, which entered the week with the nation's 10th-best strength of schedule, combined to outscore its opponents by 84 points (7.64 ppg) throughout non-conference play.
What's Next Rhode Island opens Atlantic 10 play when it hosts George Mason Saturday afternoon. Game time is 4:02 p.m.