Rams butt heads with 21st-ranked Cornhuskers

Kingston, RI (SportsNetwork.com) – A pair of 2-0 teams will square off at the
Ryan Center on Saturday night, as the Rhode Island Rams play host to the 21st-
ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in non-conference action.

Nebraska opened its season with a pair of home games and came away with
convincing wins each time. After downing Northern Kentucky on Sunday, 80-61,
the Cornhuskers made easy work of Central Arkansas on Tuesday, 82-56.

URI, which wraps up its season-opening three-game homestand in this matchup,
has also beat up on two lesser opponents, defeating Pace (94-54) and
Massachusetts-Lowell (72-56). The Rams are just 12-91 all-time against ranked
opponents, which includes 22 straight losses.

In the only previous meeting between the teams, Nebraska defeated URI in
Lincoln on Nov. 20, 2011, 83-63.

The Cornhuskers were tested in the first half of their contest against Central
Arkansas, as they led by single digits at the break, but they caught fire in
the second stanza and pulled away by as many as 29. The balanced effort saw
the squad outshoot its opponent from the field, 52.9 percent to 32.8 percent.
Terran Petteway was the catalyst with 23 points. Shavon Shields logged a
double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to go with four assists, two
blocks and a steal, while Tai Webster added 13 points and four steals.

Two dominant efforts in the season’s first week has left Nebraska with a +22.5
scoring margin. Petteway is eyeing to become one of the nation’s elite scorers
this season and is off to a great start with 24.0 ppg. Shields is an
outstanding second option with 17.0 ppg, while Webster (10.5 ppg) and David
Rivers (10.0 ppg) also score in double figures.

The Rams never trailed in their most recent matchup, as they shot a red-hot
63.8 percent from the field on their way to a 16-point win. The margin of
victory could have been even greater if they didn’t struggle so much from 3-
point range (4-of-13) and the foul line (8-of-17). Martin Hassan was a force
in the paint with 18 points (on 8-of-10 from the field), eight rebounds and
two blocks. Jared Terrell added 12 points, and Jarelle Reischel chipped in 10
points and four assists off the bench.

Through two games, URI has large separation between its offensive success
(.555 FG percentage, 83.0 ppg) and that of its opponents (.364, 55.0). Martin
(19.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg) has been the go-to guy and for good reason, as he’s
shooting 76.2 percent from the field. Gilvydas Biruta (9.0 rpg), E.C. Matthews
and Terrell all pour in 11.5 ppg.