Gilvydas Biruta’s putback as time expires saves Rhode Island (VIDEO)

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With the calendar approaching the month of February, the college basketball season is at a point where teams with hopes of earning a trip to the NCAA tournament find themselves working to avoid the damaging loss that could come back to haunt them come Selection Sunday. For Rhode Island, a program that hasn’t been to the Big Dance since 1999, Wednesday’s game at Fordham was one they had to get.

Dan Hurley’s Rams trailed for most of the night, and after Mandell Thomas made two free throws with nine seconds remaining URI trailed Fordham 63-62. E.C. Matthews got two shots at the game-winner, with the second being an off-balance shot that didn’t even draw iron.

The good news was that senior forward Gilvydas Biruta was well-positioned for the follow, which he made as time expired. URI moved to 14-5 (6-2 Atlantic 10) with the 64-63 victory, and next up is an opportunity at a quality win as George Washington visits Kingston on Saturday.

Video credit: Campus Insiders