Fatts Russell had 17 points and Jeremy Sheppard scored 14 as host Rhode Island closed on a 15-2 run to beat Seton Hall 76-63 on Wednesday night in Kingston, R.I.
Ishmael Leggett and Makhi Mitchell (11 rebounds) each had 11 points for the Rams (3-2), who broke open a close game late to win their third in a row. Rhode Island overcame 25 points from Seton Hall star Sandro Mamukelashvili to prevail.
Rhode Island led by one at halftime, but the two teams played back-and-forth basketball with the lead until the hosts used a 5-0 run to take a 66-61 lead with just under 6 minutes to play in the game. With the game tied at 61, Sheppard hit a 3-pointer and Leggett followed with a basket to give his team some breathing room.
Sheppard's long basket with 1:23 left in the contest put the Rams up 71-63. Seton Hall (1-2), which shot 42.3 percent for the game, went the final 3:08 without a point and missed its last eight field-goal attempts. It also did not help that the Pirates went 13-of-23 from the free-throw line.
Rhode Island jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Mamukelashvili hit a pair of free throws at the 17-minute mark for Seton Hall's first points of the contest. Thanks to the early play of Russell and Leggett, the Rams led by as many 14 (23-9) during the first 20 minutes.
However, the Pirates were not about to roll over and shook off some early shooting woes (3-of-11 start) to get back into the game. Seton Hall used a 9-0 run, capped by Jared Rhoden's turnaround jumper with 51 seconds left in the first half, to take a 35-34 led. Rhode Island, though, took a 36-35 lead into the break on a Jermaine Harris bucket.
Seton Hall, which has been hindered by COVID-19 issues to its early schedule, was playing its third game in six days.
--Field Level Media