THE BASICS
Providence (5-4) at Rhode Island (5-3)
Tip-Off: Friday, Dec. 6, 7:01 p.m. EST
Live Coverage: Stats | Audio | Stream: Watch ESPN 
TV: ESPN2 | Game Notes 

RHODE ISLAND VS. PROVIDENCE – SERIES NOTES

  • Friday will be the 132nd meeting between the teams. It is the fourth most games URI has played against any opponent.
  • The only opponents Rhode Island has faced more often are Brown (162), Massachusetts (154) and Connecticut (143). 
  • Providence leads the series, 74-57, though the teams have split the last two seasons.  
  • Rhode Island is 5-3 when hosting the Friars at the Ryan Center.
  • The last time the teams played in Kingston was Dec. 2, 2017. The Rams won that game, 75-68. That game featured the second-largest crowd in the history of the Ryan Center, as 7,959 fans attended.
  • Current junior Fatts Russell had 20 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in that contest. 
  • Last season, Providence was victorious, 59-50, despite being held to 20 points in the second half. Rhody senior Cyril Langevine had 18 points and 12 rebounds and classmate Jeff Dowtin added 12, but the Rams shot just 29.8 from the floor overall.
  • Providence head coach Ed Cooley was an assistant coach at Rhode Island during the 1996-97 season, helping the Rams earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship field as a No. 8 seed.
  • Providence is one of the best ball pressure teams in the country. The Friars average 10.4 steals per game, which ranks 12th among all Division I programs.
  • Massachusetts transfer Luwane Pipkins leads the Big East with 2.22 steals per game.

ESPN2 TO BRING GAME TO NATIONAL AUDIENCE

  • Friday’s game will be broadcast by ESPN2.
  • Doug Sherman has the play-by-play call, and he will be joined by color analyst Mark Plansky
  • The radio call from Steve McDonald and Don Kaull will be available on B101 and through the TuneIn app

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY TO BE ON HAND

  • Fans attending Friday’s game will have a chance to get a glimpse of the NCAA National Championship Trophy.
  • The trophy will be on display on the concourse level of the Ryan Center near the men’s basketball trophy display case.
  • Fans will be able to take photos with the trophy throughout the game.

RUSSELL CONTINUES TORRID SCORING PACE

  • Rhode Island junior Fatts Russell had a season-high 32 points Sunday at West Virginia, marking the sixth straight game with 20 or more points for the guard.
  • It is the first time a Rhode Island player has scored 20+ in six straight games since Tavorris Bell did so in the first six games of the 2000-01 season.
  • Over the last six games, Russell is scoring 24.3 points per game while shooting 50.0 percent (51-of-102) from the floor. 
  • During the stretch, he also is 32-of-35 (91.4 percent) at the free throw line and 12-for-32 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range.
  • The 32 points for Russell at West Virginia were the second most in Russell’s career. He had a 41-point game at Saint Joseph’s last season, the most ever by a Ram in a road contest.
  • Russell ranks second in the Atlantic 10 and 26th nationally with 21.1 points per game. Only Dayton’s Obi Toppin is averaging more with 23.0 per game.
  • The last Rhode Island player to average 20 points per game over the course of a season was Eric Leslie, who scored 23.0 points per game during the 1990-91 season, 
  • With six 20-point performances this season, Russell now has 16 career games with at least 20 points.
  • Rhode Island is 13-3 when Russell scores at least 20 points,  including a 4-2 mark this season.

RAMS SHOWING LIFE FROM LONG RANGE

  • Coming off a season in which it was the worst 3-point shooting team in the country, Rhode Island has shown significant improvement in the area this season.
  • Last time out at West Virginia, the Rams were 7-for-10 from long range, the fourth-best individual game in program history in games with at least 10 attempts.
  • Junior Fatts Russell was 3-of-4, sophomore Tyrese Martin was 2-for-2, and sophomore Dana Tate and freshman Jacob Toppin were both 1-for-2.
  • As a team, the Rams are shooting 31.4 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 241st nationally.
  • Last season, the Rams made just 28.0 percent of its attempts.
  • Russell has been the most improved shooter. This season he has shot 36.6 percent (15-of-41) after he made 22.3 percent of his tries last season.

DOWTIN TWO AWAY FROM 400 CAREER ASSISTS

  • Senior Jeff Dowtin has 398 career assists and needs two more to become the sixth player in URI history with 400.
  • Dowtin had a season-high four assists at West Virginia last time out, tying him with former teammate Jarvis Garrett (2014-18) for sixth place in team history.
  • Next on the list is Tom Garrick, who had 407 assists from 1985-88.  
  • Dowtin needs 102 more assists to join Tyson Wheeler and Carlton “Silk” Owens as the only Rams to reach both 1,000 points and 500 assists. 
  • Wheeler had  1,918 points and 712 assists from 1995-97, while Owens had 2,114 points to go with 502 assists from 1984-88.
  • With 18 assists and eight turnovers, Dowtin has a 2.3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.