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(Saturday, January 18th)
Final Score: Rhode Island 71, George Mason 69 (OT)
Kingston, RI (SportsNetwork.com) - Gilvydas Biruta converted a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Rhode Island Rams an exciting 71-69 win over the George Mason Patriots in Atlantic 10 Conference play at the Ryan Center.
Biruta finished the meeting with a double-double consisting of 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams (10-9, 1-3 A10) as they snapped a three-game slide. Xavier Munford shot 4-of-9 behind the 3-point line as he tallied a game-high 28 points, followed by E.C. Matthews with 14 points for the hosts.
The Patriots (7-11, 0-4) were paced by Sherrod Wright who dropped in 12 points, followed by Patrick Holloway and Bryon Allen with 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the team dropped a fifth straight decision.
George Mason led by as many as 12 points in the first half, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, but the visitors had to settle for a 29-25 edge at the break. URI started out very slow as it connected on a total of only nine field goals through the first 20 minutes of action.
With 16.9 seconds remaining in the second half, Munford had a chance to put the hosts up by three, but he made only one of his two free throws, leaving the Rams with a 56-54 advantage. Fouled down at the other end, Jalen Jenkins knotted the score with a couple conversions at the charity stripe with 11.2 left on the clock.
The Rams had one more chance to steal the victory in regulation, but a shot by Matthews in the waning moments was blocked.
In the extra session Matthews put Rhode Island up by three, 69-66, with 4.8 seconds on the clock, but at the other end he fouled Allen, who referees determined was in the act of shooting from just inside half court. Allen knocked down all three of his chances at the stripe with 2.2 seconds left.
The Rams heaved the inbounds down to Biruta and he was fouled, resulting in his playing the hero for the hosts.
The victory for URI was the first in four tries all-time against the Patriots.
01/18 15:55:54 ET
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