Rhode Island holds off VCU 71-65 in defensive battle

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — Fatts Russell scored 19 points, Jermaine Harris made a key shot in the closing seconds and Rhode Island beat VCU 71-65 on Wednesday night for its fifth straight victory in the series.

Russell made URI’s first 3-pointer of the game, in nine attempts, with four minutes left to avoid its first shutout from distance since Nov. 27, 2011.

Harris sank a turnaround jumper from the free-throw line with 33.5 seconds left for a 67-63 lead and Christion Thompson drew a charge at the other end. Tyrese Martin made two free throws for a six-point lead and Jeff Dowtin made a steal at 16.5 to seal it.

Dowtin finished with 14 points for Rhode Island (11-7, 4-2 Atlantic 10).

Marcus Santos-Silva had 17 points and seven rebounds and De’Riante Jenkins scored 16 for VCU (13-6, 4-2).

URI and VCU combined to make just 3 of 21 from 3-point range but went 39 for 51 at the free-throw line (76 percent).

Explore more:  Digital Life: Careful with those gym selfies