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A-10 men’s basketball notebook: Rhode Island continues dominance of conference foes

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The No. 22 Rhode Island men’s basketball team preserved its perfect 2017-18 record against Atlantic 10 opponents with a 61-58 win over Duquesne University on Saturday afternoon at Kingston’s Ryan Center.

Senior guard Stanford Robinson drilled a three-pointer from the corner as time expired to break a tie and extend the Rams’ (17-3, 9-0 A-10) win streak to 12 games. Fellow guard E.C. Matthews led all scorers with 20 points.

Trailing 38-23 with 16:14 left in the game, Rhode Island ripped off a 22-7 run over the next 10 minutes to knot the score at 45-45. The teams exchanged several lead changes before Robinson’s triple capped the rally.

The Rams have systematically dismantled all of their other conference foes dating back to last season, with 17 straight wins against A-10 teams. Saturday’s game was just the second of nine so far this season between Rhode Island and other A-10 teams that were decided by fewer than 10 points, with the only other dating back to Jan. 9 with a 72-65 Rams’ win over Saint Louis.

Rhode Island’s average margin of victory is 10.8, best in the conference and tied for 36th in Division I. Its 12-game win streak is the first of its kind for the program since the 1941-42 season, and has garnered national attention — after debuting in the AP Top 25 rankings at No. 24 last week, the Rams have risen two spots to No. 22 in this week’s poll.

It’s safe to say Rhode Island is rolling, as they head into Amherst Tuesday night to face the Minutemen (10-12, 3-6 A-10) at 6:30 p.m.

Richmond downs Davidson, underclassmen awarded

Richmond defeated Davidson, 66-63 on Sunday afternoon in North Carolina for its fifth consecutive A-10 victory, thanks to key contributions from underclassmen Nick Sherod and Grant Golden.

Sherod, a sophomore guard, notched his first career double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds) in the win to earn Conference Co-Player of the Week honors. Golden, a redshirt freshman forward, poured in 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting and was named the A-10’s Rookie of the Week.

Sherod’s personal performance followed up his 28-point outing versus Duquesne on Wednesday, a game in which he scored 15 points in the last 12 minutes and also hit the game-winning shot with 32 seconds left. The Richmond native shared the weekly honors with VCU senior forward Justin Tillman, who recorded back-to-back double-doubles last week in wins over George Mason and Saint Louis.

For Golden, it was his second consecutive game with 20 points, and a solid sequel to his 21-point, nine rebound performance in the Spiders’ 77-73 overtime win against Duquesne. It was his second time earning A-10 Rookie of the Week honors this season.

Richmond (8-13, 6-3 A-10) is now in sole possession of second place in the A-10 thanks to their win over VCU (14-8, 6-3 A-10) back on Jan. 17. They host George Mason (9-12, 3-5 A-10) on Saturday night, and then have several days off before a rematch with VCU on Feb. 7.

Henry Brechter can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @hbrechter.

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