It’s time for another rewind. This weekend YurView turns back the clock to re-broadcast a pair from the archives — this time of the Rhode Island rivalry variety.
There are few games on the schedule for either Rhode Island or Providence that stoke greater annual emotion than when the two meet each December. In this double-dip, YurView fires up the digital Delorean to take us back to the 2005 and 2011 contests against the Friars.
2005 – Dawan Time
Names like Will Daniels, Jamaal Wise, Parfait Bitee, Dawan Robinson, Kahiem Seawright and Jimmy Baron populated column one of the box score for Rhode Island in 2005.
After coming off a dismal year where both Robinson and Wise were injured early and done, this Rams team saw a boost of talent with the return of those two seniors added to a young and talented nucleus.
On the other side, senior Donnie McGrath functioned as the unquestioned leader of a youthful Friars group featuring the likes of Randall Hanke and Sharaud Curry.
Both Rhody and PC entered with 3-1 records. Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron was just scratching the surface on his way to becoming arguably the best shooter in Rhode Island’s history. He’d take the floor in this one as the reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week.
The early portion of this matchup was competitive and choppy, with Parfait Bitee and Donnie McGrath helping get their teams out of the mud and establish flow. It would remain tight throughout as the Friars clung to a 61-59 lead at the under 8 minute timeout.
Rhody big man J.R. Moore would provide solid minutes, shot-blocking, and an opportunistic six points in helping his team grind towards the under 4 timeout.
Then it became Dawan Robinson time. With both teams struggling to score — he’d knot it up at 67 with 2 mins to play, courtesy of a pair of free throws. In typical Dawan fashion, he’d pierce north/south and use that lead shoulder to protect and convert, or draw contact, over the remainder of this one.
He’d score nine of the last 10 points for the Rams, including a 7 for 8 performance from the line as Rhody’s defense clamped down on Welsh’s team (10-2 run) to secure a 77-69 win.
2011- Friars End Drought
The 2011 match-up was filled with significant surrounding story lines. The Rams – just 1-10 at the time – were incredibly young with three freshmen seeing significant minutes; players like Mike Powell, Jonathan Holton, and now assistant coach and Rhody faithful favorite T.J. Buchanan.
It also saw the Rams introduce two transfers into the fold: Andre Malone (Auburn) and Billy Baron (Virginia), son of then head coach Jim Baron.
On the other side of the midcourt line, the Friars entered at 10-2, featuring dynamic, downhill guard Vincent Council, himself flanked by the talented Gerard Coleman and Bryce Cotton. Oh, and a young freshman named LaDontae Henton.
The Friars were also led by first-year Friar head coach Ed Cooley, back in town after several successful seasons in Fairfield.
PC, to this point, had never won in four trips to the Ryan Center and entered eager to put a victory on the board and shorten the bus trip home to the north.
Rhode Island would start hot in this one and compete toe-to-toe with the Friars for a half, trailing by only a bucket. Ultimately, however, the Friars would turn up the defensive pressure and offensive aggression in the second half as URI struggled to mix it’s rotation and find comfort and rhythm.
The final result: an 80-61 Friars road win, their first ever at the Ryan Center
Join us on Saturday at 2pm on YurView for another rewind as we tee up these two tilts from the archives.
Rhody Rewind – Saturday, May 2
URI vs. PC (12/5/05) 2pm
URI vs. PC (12/23/11) 4pm
YURVIEW (Channel 4 for RI Cox Customers)