KINGSTON, R.I. - Senior Forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla) scored nine points and grabbed eight boards but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 62-48 decision to the University of Rhode Island Rams Sunday afternoon at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I.
Rhode Island opened the game on a 14-1 run to jump out to an early lead. Biruta Gilvydas got things started for the Rams when he scored a layup in traffic. After Konan hit one-of-two free-throws, Biggie Minnis grabbed a rebound in traffic and laid it in to put URI up, 4-1. The Rams then got a layup from Ifeany Onyekaba, a three-pointer from Xavier Munford, two free-throws from Minnis, and a three-ball from Matthew Butler to cap the run.
The Wildcats broke the run on a free-throw by Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas), but the Rams responded with a 8-0 run to extend the lead to 22-2. E.C Matthews opened the run for the Rams when he nailed a jumper. The Rams scored their next six points on free-throws to before Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas) halted the run when he drained a mid-range jumper from the left side.
The Wildcats responded 10-4 run to close out the half. Konan got the Wildcats started when he hit a three from the right side to cut the lead to 25-8. Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) added two free throws before TJ Buchanon hit a freebie for the Rams. The Wildcats then scored its next five points on free-throws to cut the lead to 14 points at the half.
Biruta paced the Rams offense with seven points and seven rebounds in the first half. Munford and Minnis added six points each for Rhode Island. Konan and Smith led the way for UNH with four points apiece in the first. Konan also led the Wildcats with five rebounds in the frame.
The Rams opened the second half on a 17-8 run to push its lead up to 24-points. Minnis scored seven points during the run on two jumpers and a three-pointer. Biruta added five points for the rams during the span. URI rode the run to victory, extending its lead to 27, before taking the 62-45 win.
Konan finished with nine points and eight boards to lead the way for UNH in the loss. Smith chipped in with eight points, six rebounds, and one assist for UNH which falls to 2-9 on the season.
Biruta finished with a double-double, scoring 17 points and snagging 11 rebounds, to pace the Rams. Biggie Minnis (13 points) and Xavier Munford (11 points) also scored double-digits for the Rams who move to 7-5 with the win.The Wildcats return to action on Dec. 30 when they travel to Maryland to take on Towson University in a non-conference clash at 7:30 p.m.. For the latest news and information on UNH men's basketball, tune in to www.unhwildcats.com