Archie Miller raves about Rhode Island; rematch looms in February

Rhode Island lost the game, 67-64 to the Dayton Flyers, and a golden chance to seize control of the Atlantic 10 standings, yet proved to be as good as everyone thought Friday at UD Arena.

Dayton coach Archie Miller raved about the Rams, knowing he has to see them again Feb. 10 in Kingston.

“I think their game plan may have been to slow us down a little bit,” Miller said. “I don’t know. I feel like every time they shot the ball, it was going in. We did not defend the 3-point line at all tonight. You can’t give up 10 made 3-point baskets in your home arena, and we’ve got to figure out why. They did a tremendous job. They were playing hard. Kuran Iverson had a terrific game. We’ll see these guys in a month. I hope it’s that close. They are a really good team. I can’t state that enough.”

Rhode Island made 10 of 21 3-pointers (47.6 percent). That was better than their season average (36.6) but well off their school-record performance Tuesday when they made 16 of 30 3-pointers (53.3 percent) in an 88-58 victory over St. Joseph’s.

Iverson led the Rams with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He made 6 of 12 shots from the field.

Dayton held Hassan Martin, the Rams’ leading scorer with 15.4 points per game, to seven points. E.C. Matthews scored 13. Stanford Robinson had 13 points off the bench.

Injury news: Dayton played its second straight game and third game in the last four without leading scorer Charles Cooke, who remains sidelined with wrist and back injuries.

“He’s a bona-fide all-conference player,” Miller said. “We’ve just got to get him back healthy. The goal will be to work every day now until we play UMass, and hopefully we’ll have him back.”

Next week: Dayton plays at Massachusetts (10-5, 0-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday and then travels to Duquesne (8-7, 1-1) for a noon game Jan. 14.

UMass plays at Virginia Commonwealth (12-3, 2-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Minutemen lost 89-77 at home to St. Bonaventure in their A-10 opener and 86-81 at George Mason on Wednesday. UMass leads the A-10 in field-goal percentage defense (39.2)

Duquesne won 75-72 at Fordham on its first conference game and then lost 94-87 at home to VCU on Wednesday.

Recruiting update: Southern Methodist transfer Harry Froling did not end up visiting Dayton Jan. 5. He's choosing between Oregon State and Marquette. UD has one scholarship open for the 2017-18 season.

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