URI gets big non-conference win over Alabama, 93-79

College Sports

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — Fats Russell scored 22 points, Jeff Dowtin added 21 and Rhode Island turned a hot first half into a 93-79 win over Alabama on Friday night.
Cyril Langevine added 12 points and a career-high six assists for the Rams (2-1), who beat the first Southeastern Conference team to play in the Ryan Center. Tyrese Martin and Jacob Toppin had 11 points each.
Kira Lewis Jr. led the Crimson Tide (1-2) with 21 points and Herbert Jones added 17.
Dowtin made all six of his shots in the first half and scored 15 points to help Rhode Island build a 50-33 lead. Russell added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists with the Rams shooting 56%, going 5 of 12 from 3-point range. Alabama was held to 39% shooting, including 0 for 10 from 3-point range. Jones and Lewis Jr. combined to score 21 of Alabama’s 33 points.
Rhode Island forced 13 Alabama turnovers and scored 19 points off turnovers.
Lewis Jr. had back-to-back layups and Jaden Shackelford hit a 3-pointer to cap an 11-0 run early in the second half to cut the deficit to 58-48. The difference stayed around 10 until Alex Reese and John Petty Jr., had consecutives 3s and Alabama was within 74-67 with 7:20 to play.
Javian Davis had a three-point play and a layup with 3:28 to go to pull the Tide within 81-75 but the Rams, starting with Russell’s four free throws, scored the next 12 points to ice the game.
Alabama: The Nate Oats era got off to a rough start in the Crimson Tide’s opener, losing 81-80 to Penn for their first season-opening home loss since a 61-55 defeat to Cornell on Nov. 14, 2009. It was a much-anticipated debut as the school announced a turnout of 1,830 students for the third most total for a November home game in the past 10 years. Oats got his first win on Monday when freshmen Javian Davis and Jaden Shackelford combined for 36 points in a 78-59 victory over Florida Atlantic.
Rhode Island: Alabama is the first SEC team to play at the Ryan Center. … The Rams were picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll after returning 87% of their scoring from a team that won six of seven games to close last season. Coach David Cox is in his second season at the helm after going 18-15 despite losing six seniors heading into the 2018-19 season.
Alabama: Hosts Furman on Tuesday in a campus game for the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson Tide will then face No. 6 North Carolina on Nov. 27 in the Bahamas.
Rhode Island: The Rams are busy next week, playing Nicholls on Tuesday, followed by North Texas on Friday and No. 23 LSU on Saturday.

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