Davidson's Jack Gibbs, front, gets a hug from teammate Nathan Ekwu after leaving Saturday’s game against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals in Pittsburgh. Rhode Island won 84-60 to advance to the championship. Keith Srakocic AP
Davidson's Jack Gibbs, front, gets a hug from teammate Nathan Ekwu after leaving Saturday’s game against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals in Pittsburgh. Rhode Island won 84-60 to advance to the championship. Keith Srakocic AP

College Sports

Rhode Island finds way to shut down Jack Gibbs, pound Davidson

By Jasper Wilson

Correspondent

March 11, 2017 05:48 PM

UPDATED March 11, 2017 06:23 PM

PITTSBURGH

After surviving one tough defensive test against Dayton on Friday for an upset win, Davidson couldn’t repeat the task a day later facing Rhode Island, crashing out of the Atlantic 10 tournament and likely ending its season.

The fourth-seeded Rams trailed senior guard Jack Gibbs all around the court at PPG Paints Arena in an A-10 semifinal game after he had set the building scoring record in his previous outing with 34 points.

Gibbs ended Saturday afternoon, possibly his final college game, having shot 4-for-12 and missed all three attempted 3-pointers.

He still finished with a team-high 17 points, but Rhode Island floated to a 84-60 win, handing the Wildcats (17-15) their biggest margin of defeat all season.

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It’s remarkable when you look at the final score and you look at the way they just pummeled us.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop

Junior forward Peyton Aldridge said that beyond what it did to Gibbs, Rhode Island (23-8) forced all of Davidson’s activity out of the lane and past the foul line, which made it difficult to build any sort of rhythm.

“It’s remarkable when you look at the final score and you look at the way they just pummeled us,” said Davidson coach Bob McKillop.

Three who mattered

E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island: Led the relentless Rams’ offense, hitting all four 3-pointers, and all five free throws, he attempted en route to a game-high 19 points.

Hassan Martin, Rhode Island: Dominated Davidson inside, shooting 53 percent overall after hitting on eight of 15 tries. He added six rebounds.

Jack Gibbs: His sustained struggles on offense helped doomed Davidson to defeat.

Observations

▪ Hope of a comeback died when Davidson went almost 10 minutes without a made field goal late. Rhode Island went on a 21-9 run then.

▪ Playing their third game in three days, the Wildcats’ fatigue showed in their distance shooting: sinking five of 21 3-pointers.

▪ Gibbs’ struggles hurt because no one other than Aldridge made up the difference. The other starters combined for 20 points, while the bench managed just 10.

Worth mentioning

▪ Davidson led just once, for 24 seconds early in the opening half after Peyton Aldridge made a 3-pointer.

▪ Rhode Island finished the game having connected on 12-of-20 3-pointers. Hit on 9-of-12 in first half.

▪ Regardless of whether Davidson plays in another postseason tournament, Gibbs will finish an illustrious college career as the program’s third-highest scorer.

They said it

“When we needed that stop, when we needed that made basket, when we needed even that made foul shot, we didn’t get it. There was one point where the ball just bounced out of our hands right into them, and they got the rebound and put it back in.” – McKillop on not being able to break through when trailing by 10 points midway through second half.

RHODE ISLAND 84, DAVIDSON 60

DAVIDSON (17-15): Magarity 2-7 0-0 4, Aldridge 4-9 4-7 13, Gibbs 4-12 9-10 17, Gudmundsson 4-7 0-0 9, Pritchett 2-5 2-2 7, Michelsen 1-2 0-0 3, Perkey 0-0 0-0 0, McAuliffe 0-1 0-0 0, Ekwu 0-0 2-4 2, Reigel 2-3 0-0 5, Watkins 0-1 0-0 0, Giamoukis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 17-23 60.

RHODE ISLAND (23-9): Iverson 4-4 2-2 12, Martin 8-15 0-1 16, Dowtin 3-5 1-1 7, Terrell 3-9 1-3 9, Matthews 5-9 5-5 19, Langevine 1-4 0-0 2, Layssard 0-1 0-0 0, Berry 1-1 1-1 3, Akele 1-2 2-2 5, Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Dadika 0-0 0-0 0, Leviton 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 3-8 0-1 8, Garrett 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 30-61 12-16 84.

Halftime—Rhode Island 46-34. 3-Point Goals—Davidson 5-21 (Michelsen 1-2, Reigel 1-2, Gudmundsson 1-3, Pritchett 1-3, Aldridge 1-4, Watkins 0-1, Giamoukis 0-1, Magarity 0-2, Gibbs 0-3), Rhode Island 12-20 (Matthews 4-4, Iverson 2-2, Robinson 2-3, Terrell 2-4, Akele 1-1, Garrett 1-2, Thompson 0-1, Martin 0-1, Dowtin 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Davidson 28 (Aldridge 10), Rhode Island 36 (Langevine, Terrell, Martin 6). Assists—Davidson 11 (Gudmundsson, Aldridge 3), Rhode Island 18 (Dowtin 6). Total Fouls—Davidson 15, Rhode Island 20.