When the St. Joseph’s Hawks (13-5 Overall, 8-8 A10) meet the #17 URI Rams (24-3 Overall, 15-1 A10) tonight at 7 p.m. E.T. at the Ryan Center in Kingston, RI, they will be taking on the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season champs. URI took the title when they beat Davidson College 72-59 on Feb. 9. The Hawks come to this game seventh in the conference and seven games out of first. Our St. Joseph’s plays URI 2018 NCAA basketball pick offers the Rams at +13.5 and the over/under at 148.0.
The Hawks have won four of their last five games and are on a three-game winning streak. They last played on Feb. 10, beating the University of Massachusetts 85-73. They also took down Duquesne and Fordham. Their one loss in those five contests was to the George Mason Patriots 79-76. Thus far St. Joe’s has played one nationally ranked team this season. That was the #4 Villanova Wildcats who they lost to 94-53.
The Rams had been on a 16-game winning streak when they ran into the St. Bonaventure on Feb. 16. The Bonnies beat URI 77-74. Since then, the Rams have won two games, defeating La Salle 95-93 in OT on Feb. 20 and taking down, as mentioned before, Davidson.
The Hawks are averaging 73.6 PPG and allowing opponents 73.4 PPG, which gives them little margin for error. They’re facing a team that is holding opponents to 67.4 PPG while scoring 78.0 PPG. URI is completing 47.3%, while St. Joe’s is good on 41.4%. The Hawks are +3 on rebounds. URI is hitting 73% of their frees, while the Hawks are at 68%.
Players to Watch
For St. Joe’s two seniors, guard Shavar Newkirk and forward James Demery, offer fine scoring chops. Newkirk is averaging 17.8 PPG, while grabbing 4.4 RPG and making 3.7 APG. Demery has been good for 17.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG. Forward Taylor Funk, a 38% three-point shooter, is putting up 12.0 PPG and bringing down 4.5 RPG.
Three senior guards lead URI, Jared Terrell, E.C. Matthews, and Stanford Robinson. Terrell is averaging 17.6 PPG and completing 42% of his threes. Matthews is good for 13.2 PPG, while Robinson is averaging 9.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG. Sophomore guard Jared Terrell leads the club in assists with 5.8 per game while contributing 9.2 PPG.
Our St Joseph’s Plays URI 2018 NCAA Basketball Pick
The spread is huge on this game, but there’s a good reason for that. The Rams are at home and a team that can deliver a lot of points and dominate teams. Still, that 13.5 point spread looks intimidating. With that in mind, for our St. Joseph’s plays URI 2018 NCAA basketball pick, we are going with the Hawks at +13.5. We think this will be a closer game than that. At the same time, we’re taking the under at 148.0