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Rhode Island beats LSU 74-70

AP - Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- E.C. Matthews scored 21 points Saturday as Rhode Island held off a late rally and defeated LSU 74-70 in a nonconference game.

The Rams (9-6) scored eight consecutive points to go ahead 67-59 with 4:58 remaining. The Tigers (9-3) got within one point at 71-70 following two foul shots by Andre Stringer and a field goal by Johnny O'Bryant.

LSU then had two chances to take the lead, but one possession ended with a turnover by O'Bryant, and Anthony Hickey missed a runner in the lane in the other. Xavier Munford connected on one of two foul shots with 18 seconds remaining to give the Tigers one last opportunity.

Hickey missed a long 3-point attempt and Matthews rebounded for the Rams. Matthews, a freshman, then sank two foul shots with 1.4 seconds remaining to clinch the Rhode Island victory.

The 21 points matched Matthews' season-high. Gilvydas Biruta had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds - both season-highs. Munford added 17 points.

Jordan Mickey was the leading scorer for LSU with 21 points. Stringer had 13 points, while O'Bryant finished with 11.

Rhode Island dominated the second part of the first half to take a 36-30 lead into the break. Trailing 17-11, the Rams scored 13 consecutive points over a three-minute stretch. Biggie Minnis converted a three-point play and Matthews made a 3-pointer.

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