Rhode Island (7-6) at Brown (6-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 6 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: URI 6-2, Brown 2-1. Away Record: URI 0-4, Brown 4-4. Neutral Record: URI 1-0, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: URI 0-0, Brown 0-0. Series Record: Rhode Island leads, 101-53.
GAME NOTES: The Brown Bears will try to snap a three-game skid when they begin a three-game homestand against in-state rival Rhode Island.
The Bears suffered a 68-65 loss at Niagara Sunday. Sean McGonagill finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Steven Spieth chipped in 11 points, while Rafael Maia registered a double-double with 10 points and the same number of rebounds. Brown held a 49-36 rebounding advantage, but the Bears turned the ball over 25 times.
McGonagill (18.6 ppg), a senior guard, continues to ascend up Brown's career statistics charts. His performance on Sunday put him into ninth place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,318 career points, passing Damon Huffman, who had 1,306 points from 2004-2008. By the end of this game, it's possible McGonagill could move several places up on the school's scoring list. He's only one point behind Joe Tebo (1955-58) for eighth, 10 in back of Marcus Thompson (1985-89) for seventh, 13 back of Mike Cingiser (1959-62) for sixth, and 26 short of Alai Nuualiitia (1999-03) for fifth place. McGonagill is making 40.8 percent of his 3-point attempts, which is Maia (10.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg) is the only other player averaging double-digits in points. Dockery Walker (8.5 ppg) is the top contributor off the bench. Cedric Kuakumensah has been solid on the interior and paces the Ivy League with 3.0 bpg. The Bears have been consistent this season by fielding the same starting lineup in all 11 games. Tavon Blackmon (7.9 ppg), Kuakumensah (7.6 ppg) and Spieth (5.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) are also in the starting lineup.
The Rams suffered a 77-64 home loss against Southern Miss on Saturday. E.C. Matthews and Xavier Munford each registered 17 points for Rhode Island. T.J. Buchanan tallied 10 points off the bench for the Rams, who have lost four of their last five.
Rhode Island has three players averaging double figures in scoring in Munford (15.0 ppg). Matthews (10.7) and Gilvydas Biruta (10.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are also part of the starting lineup on a team that has struggled offensively to the tune of 67.5 ppg, which is next-to-last in the Atlantic 10. The Rams are also shooting just 29.4 percent from 3-point range, which is the worst mark in the conference. Biruta, a junior transfer, has posted double figures in six of the last seven games.
This series, which dates back to the 1909-10 season, has Rhode Island with a commanding 101-53 advantage. The Rams have captured 14 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools, but that lone Brown win during the stretch came the last time they played at the Pizzitola Sports Center, on Nov. 30, 2011.
Provided McGonagill has a strong performance on the offensive side and the Bears take care of the ball, Brown seems primed to end its slide.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Brown 70, Rhode Island 66
01/02 10:31:56 ET