The first game of NBC Sports Network’s Atlantic 10 triple-header matched two teams with aspirations of contending for the conference title in Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s. At Hagan Arena it was the host Hawks who moved to 2-1 in conference play, with DeAndre Bembry and Aaron Brown leading the way offensively in the 72-67 victory.
Bembry played all 40 minutes for Phil Martelli’s team, finishing with a game-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Senior Aaron Brown added 19 points, shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, and classmate Isaiah Miles scored ten points for the 12-3 Hawks.
Hassan Martin led three Rams in double figures with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, but URI’s 16 turnovers were converted into 21 points by Saint Joseph’s.
Still playing without injured forward Hassan Martin (ankle), Rhode Island opened Atlantic 10 play at home against a Saint Louis team that has struggled for much of the season. That remained the case for the visiting Billikens at the Ryan Center, as URI rolled to an 85-57 victory on NBCSN.
Five Rams scored 12 points or more with guard Four McGlynn leading the way with 16. URI shot 50 percent from the field and 12-for-27 from three while limiting Saint Louis to 40 percent shooting. SLU shot just 3-for-15 from three, with Miles Reynolds and Achraf Yacoubou scoring 12 points apiece to lead the way.
Rhode Island’s 71-65 loss at Old Dominion Tuesday night proved to be a costly defeat, as they lost their best player for the foreseeable future due to injury.
Junior forward Hassan Martin, who played in just 11 minutes Tuesday night as a result of injuring his left ankle in the first half, has been declared out indefinitely according to Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. The Rams won’t play again until December 30 against Brown in their final non-conference game before the start of Atlantic 10 play.
URI opens up conference play with home games against Saint Louis (January 2) and Richmond (January 5), and according to Koch’s report it’s likely that Martin will at the very least miss the games against Brown and SLU.
Martin’s currently averaging a team-best 11.9 points per game while also contributing 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest. He’s one of the nation’s best defenders, so losing Martin is a serious blow for Dan Hurley’s Rams to absorb. How long Martin remains sidelined as a result of the injury remains to be seen.
URI is already playing without junior guard E.C. Matthews, who suffered a torn ACL in the team’s season opener against American.