University of Rhode Island Press Release
Rhode Island Starters
Samb, Thomas, Leggett, Martin, Hutchinson
James, Holloway, Williams, Cross, Forbes2
How It Happened
A furious comeback came up just short as Rhode Island rallied from a 13-point deficit and had multiple shots to tie in the final seconds, but the Rams ultimately fell to Tulane, 76-73, on the second day of the Cayman Islands Classic.
A pair of C Holloway free throws put the Green Wave (4-1) up 56-43 with 13:22 remaining. Brandon Weston got the Rams (1-4) going with a fastbreak layup off an assist from Ishmael Leggett. Weston drew the foul and converted the three-point play. That started a 12-0 run for Rhode Island to get the team back within one point at 56-55 following two more Weston free throws with 9:49 to go.
However, Tulane never relinquished the lead. Rhody got the deficit to one point on four different occasions, but the free throw shooting of the Green Wave kept URI at bay. Led by Kevin Cross (22 points, 10-for-10 on free throws), Tulane made 10-of-13 at the stripe over the final 7:28.
Rhode Island’s hustle gave the team a chance right down to the end. Trailing by seven with 1:38 to go, Malik Martin scored on an offensive putback. After two Tulane free throws, Leggett hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds to go. After two more Green Wave free throws, Leggett hit another trey – his seventh of the night – to get URI within 78-75 with 18 seconds left.
With 16 seconds left, Tulane missed two free throws, keeping it a one-possession game. Rhode Island got off 3-point attempts by Leggett and Brayon Freeman in the final seconds, but both shots went off the rim.
Inside the Box Score
- Sophomore Ishmael Leggett had a career-best 34 points, thanks to a 7-of-10 performance from the 3-point arc. He became just the 12 th player in program history to make seven or more in a single game.
- Leggett added five rebounds and four assists.
- Sophomore Brayon Freeman had his strongest game for the Rams, scoring 18 points to go with four assists and three rebounds.
- Senior Malik Martin had eight points and 10 rebounds.
- Redshirt sophomore Josaphat Bilau gave the team a major spark off the bench, scoring four points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out an assist in 19 minutes.
- Redshirt freshman Brandon Weston had his second straight strong game, scoring nine points to go with three assists.
- Freshman Louis Hutchinson made his first career start.
- Rhode Island dominated the glass, outrebounding Tulane 40-24.
- However, Tulane had an 18-11 edge in points off turnovers.
Rhode Island will close out play at the Cayman Islands Classic Wednesday. The Rams will play Illinois State at 11 a.m.