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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Rose Hill Gym (3,470) -- Bronx, New York. Television: YES. Home Record: URI 4-5, Fordham 3-2. Away Record: URI 2-4, Fordham 0-10. Neutral Record: URI 0-2, Fordham 2-2. Conference Record: URI 1-3, Fordham 1-3. Series Record: URI leads, 31-24.
GAME NOTES: The Rhode Island Rams will pay a visit to Rose Hill Gym on Saturday for an Atlantic 10 Conference showdown with the Fordham Rams.
Rhode Island has lost three of its last four outings, including Wednesday's 66-65 setback to George Washington that came down to the final seconds. At 1-3 in league play, the Rams face a difficult schedule ahead that will have them on the road for three of their next four. The lone home game in that stretch is this Wednesday against A-10 leader VCU.
Meanwhile, Fordham has lost three in a row and is also 1-3 within the conference. The Rams were blown out of the gym Wednesday night at Dayton, as they fell by a 96-51 final. The 96 points scored marked a season-high by a Fordham opponent, as was Dayton's 35 field goals and 15 3-pointers made.
In terms of the all-time series between these two schools, URI holds a 31-24 lead.
Wednesday's matchup between Rhode Island and George Washington was decided when GW's Joe McDonald buried the go-ahead jumper with nine seconds to play in regulation. The Rams had one final chance to win it, but a 3-point attempt by Xavier Munford was just off the mark. It was a way to lose for the Rams, who led by five with five minutes to play before GW went on a 7-0 run. All told, the game featured 19 ties and 20 lead changes. Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the floor, but the Colonials held a key 34-25 rebounding advantage, which helped yield a 16-7 edge in second-chance points. Three players are averaging double figures on the season for URI, led by Munford with 17.9 points per game. Nikola Malesevic is averaging 11.1 points and a team-best 4.8 rebounds, although at 6-7 and 200 pounds, he tends to struggle against teams with size on the front line.
Fordham is one of those teams, as Chris Gaston (14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and Ryan Canty (6.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) are both adept at attacking the glass. As a team, Fordham boasts a +3.2 rebounding margin, although the Rams are -5.3 in turnover margin (16.6 tpg). Junior Branden Frazier, a combination guard, is scoring a team-best 15.8 ppg, although he also leads the squad with 57 turnovers (3 per game). On Wednesday night, the Rams committed 19 turnovers and forced only eight, as Dayton held a 29-13 advantage in points off turnovers. Ultimately, the Flyers won by shooting 57.4 percent from the floor and tying a school record with 15 3-pointers (in only 21 attempts). In comparison, Fordham shot just 37 percent from the floor and went 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. Jeffrey Short was the only Ram in double figures, finishing with 13 points to go along with five turnovers.
Fordham has the size advantage in this matchup, but turnovers and sloppy defense often trumps height.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rhode Island 67, Fordham 64
01/26 10:36:40 ET