George Washington (8-9) at Rhode Island (6-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas M. Ryan Center (7,657) -- Kingston, Rhode Island. Television: OSN. Home Record: GW 4-4, URI 4-4. Away Record: GW 3-5, URI 2-4. Neutral Record: GW 1-0, URI 0-2. Conference Record: GW 2-2, URI 1-2. Series Record: George Washington leads, 28-24.
GAME NOTES: Having picked up their first Atlantic 10 Conference win over the weekend, the Rams of Rhode Island try and make it two in a row on Wednesday night as they play host to the George Washington Colonials.
Coming off back-to-back league defeats against Richmond and Charlotte earlier this month, the Rams put up a strong fight against Saint Louis on Saturday, taking the Billikens to overtime before securing the 82-80 road win. It was just the second victory since Christmas for URI, which is still four games under .500 overall on the campaign.
As for the Colonials, they snapped a two-game slide of their own last Saturday as well, as they captured a narrow 79-76 win at UMass. With the victory, the team moved to 2-2 in conference play, tying it with four other teams for fifth place in the standings.
In a series that dates back to 1981, the Colonials lead the Rams by a 28-24 margin after picking up wins in each of the last two seasons.
Joe McDonald not only finished with a team-best 16 points for the Colonials, he also handed out a game-high 10 assists as well for the team as they picked up the win against the Minutemen at the Mullins Center. Dwayne Smith and Lasan Kromah both came off the bench to deliver 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Patricio Garino tacked on 12 points and four steals as the team forced 16 turnovers, the same number they themselves suffered. The 79 points for GW was the most since taking out Hofstra back in November, 80-56. Now after 17 games, the team is averaging just 65.0 ppg with Isaiah Armwood at the top of the scoring list with 12.0 ppg, as well as pacing the group on the glass with 8.5 rpg as well. A 52.3 percent shooter from the floor, Armwood tends to spend the majority of his time in the paint, resulting in 48 of the unit's 86 blocked shots as well.
Shooting 4-of-8 beyond the arc last Saturday, Xavier Munford finished with a team-best 24 points through 45 minutes of action, but at the same time he nearly nullified all of that effort as he suffered eight turnovers as well. Nikola Malesevic and Andre Malone both added 14 points and Jordan Hare 10 as those last two performers also pulled down nine rebounds apiece. The Rams shot not just 55.1 percent from the floor, but also 52.6 percent on the perimeter in order to grab the much-needed victory. Playing an average of 36 minutes per game, Munford is also the top scorer for the group with his 17.8 ppg, while Malesevic (10.7 ppg), Malone (10.3 ppg) and Mike Powell (10.1 ppg) fill in the gaps as the squad struggles to generate 61.4 ppg most of the time. There are four players clearing at least four rebounds per game at the moment for URI, but still the team is being beaten on the glass by four per game.
The Rams have finally broken through in conference play, but it was far from easy which means even middle-of-the-road opponents from the A-10 will be tough to take down. That goes for GW on Wednesday night as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 68, Rhode Island 62
01/23 10:34:03 ET