Rhode Island 73, Fordham 69
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)—Jimmy Baron hit a go-ahead layup with 11.1 seconds to play to lead Rhode Island to a 73-69 victory over Fordham in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament on Thursday.
All-Conference forward Will Daniels added 21 points and Kahiem Seawright had 17 for fourth-seeded Rhode Island (18-13), which blew a 16-point, first-half lead and then had to rally from six down with less than eight minutes to play.
Brenton Butler, who hit all six of his 3-point shots and scored 22 points, turned the ball over on a walking violation with less than a second to play, costing Fordham its last chance to tie.
Keith Cothran added two free throws before the final buzzer as Rhode Island snapped a three-game losing streak.
Fordham, which saw a five-game winning streak snapped, finished the game without its top two players. Forward Bryant Dunston fouled out with 4:56 to go on a touch foul and Marcus Stout got his fifth on a charge with 2:08 left. The two, who combined for 38 points in a win over Richmond on Wednesday, each finished with eight points. Sebastian Greene added 13 points
Rhode Island will play top-seeded and defending champion Xavier (24-7) in the semifinals on Friday night at Boardwalk Hall. The Musketeers defeated Dayton 72-51 earlier Thursday for their ninth straight win.
Fordham didn’t take its first lead until Butler hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 14-point run and give the Rams a 49-46 lead with 15:24 to play.
Fordham stayed in front over the next eight minutes with a layup by Chris Bethel with 7:33 to play giving the Rams a 63-57 lead.
Daniels and Parfait Bitee tied the game at 63 with 3-pointers, the second with 6:34 to go.
Stout hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to put Fordham ahead 66-63, and Rhode Island eventually tied the game at 67 on two free throws by Seawright.
Butler hit two free throws to give Fordham a 69-67 lead with 1:25 to go, but Lamonte Ulmer scored on a dunk with 1:11 to go.
After Butler missed a floater in the lane with less than a minute to play, Baron drove the right side of the lane for what proved to be the game-winning basket.
Daniels scored 10 points in a 21-7 first half spurt that gave Rhode Island a 36-20 lead with 3:30 left in the half. Fordham hit four 3-pointers over the next 2:30 in a 15-4 counterattack that helped cut the deficit to 44-35 at halftime.