Top-seeded Rhode Island began defense of its Atlantic 10 Tournament championship title of a year ago by outlasting an upset-hungry VCU team, 76-67, in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Four Rams scored in double-figures, led by sophomore Jeff Dowtin who tallied 18 points and consistently extinguished VCU runs throughout the second half when the teams were separated by no more than one to two possessions throughout. Jared Terrell (16 pts), E.C. Matthews (11) and Fatts Russell (11), joined Dowtin in the double-digit scoring quartet which, along with stout defense, helped Rhode Island salt away the win.
“Confidence, patience,” Dowtin said. “My teammates were able to hit open shots, big shots. I know Jared hit a tough three, Stan [Robinson] hit a three in the corner, Fatts hit a three… and E.C. hit two clutch free throws. We were just making plays. We did what we didn’t do last game, and that was close it out.”