Photo credit: Stephan Savoia
Rhode Island already had the A10 wrapped up well before their game with St. Joseph’s. After starting the year winning their first 13 conference games, they had a hiccup on the road against St. Bonaventure. No matter, they won their next two and clinched the A10 regular season conference title. All that was left was a party on senior night at home against a 14-pt underdog Saint Joseph’s team. Or was it??? Dun dun DUNNNNN!!!
Senior Nights can often go one of two ways: it can energize the team or it can potentially sap a team’s energy. Against the Hawks, Senior Night gave the Rams mono, with a splash of influenza. Rhode Island was -1300 on the moneyline (meaning to win the game), with an implied probability of 88% for the victory. That means if you bet $1,300 on them to win and they did (regardless of the margin of victory), you would take home a cool $100. That’s how big of favorites they were. However, not only did they lose, they lost by 30. O.O
The Hawks were led by James Demery (21 pts, 7 rips), who came off the bench for only the second time this season, as their bench outscored the Rams’ bench 29-9. The loss ended the Rhode Island’s 17-game home winning streak. They’re only 2-2 in their last 4 games, with one more game at Davidson. They’ll still be the A10 Tournament favorite. However, Rams fans can’t feel nearly as comfortable as they did just a couple of weeks ago.
The Rams head coach Dan Hurley weighed in on Twitter, taking full responsibility for the loss:
Sorry Rhody! Our fans and our Seniors deserved better tonight. This one is on me as the leader of this outstanding team. I didn't have us ready to play. We were too emotional. Our crowds and players have been amazing all season. Thank you! We will be back.
— Dan Hurley (@dhurley15) February 28, 2018
Apparently, he didn’t unveil that 31-point play that he had in his playbook during a time out. Oh well, maybe next time. Tough loss for the 17th ranked Rams and their fans…unless you took the Hawks’ moneyline. If so, drinks are on you!