GW wins 66-65.
URI played well enough to win. They shot the ball very well (over 50%) and got Malone and Malesevic going to the tune of both guys being in double-figures scoring along with Munford.
Sure there may have been a different outcome if Hare didn’t go 0 for 4 from the FT line in the closing minutes of the game or if Powell found Munford right next to him in the corner on that inbounds play instead of launching a pass into the back court that was inevitably picked off and resulted in an easy lay up for GW with about 3 minutes left. If, on the final possession, Coach Hurley called the timeout as soon as Buchanan crossed mid-court instead of letting him drive against 2 GW defenders.
Taking all of that into consideration, the biggest reason URI lost this game is because of the referees. I am not usually a “referees are against us” conspiracy theorist but they were downright terrible this game. Calling seemingly every bump against URI meanwhile allowing GW to reach in, hand check, and twice jumping and landing on the Rhody player’s back without blowing the whistle. The refs also made a MONUMENTAL mistake in charging a foul to Munford that was committed by Bigby. That was Munford’s 2nd foul in the game (this happened in the first half). As soon as the second half began, the refs got worse and called Munford for his 3rd and 4th fouls forcing Munford (URI’s best player and top offensive option) to sit on the bench for 5 or 6 minutes in the last half of the second half (he went to the bench around the 8:00 mark and came back around the 3:30 mark) during the most crucial time of the game and having Munford on the court could have allowed URI to get enough distance between them and GW to win the game. That bad call giving Munford his 2nd foul proved to be as costly as it could be at this point in the season.
If those 3 referees are still employed by the A-10 today, the league will have lost all credibility. Those 3 refs didn’t just make a couple bad calls. They were awful all night against both teams. There had to have been 42-45 fouls called in this game. Over 1 per minute of game time. They completely took over the game and destroyed any and all rhythm that either team could get into. Like I mentioned in my halftime notes, not getting into a rhythm hurts URI much more than GW as GW’s game is in the low post whereas URI’s game revolves around jump shooting and opening up driving lanes by spreading the defense out.