TUCSON, Ariz. -- Xavier Munford scored 16 points and hit three free throws in the final 23 seconds to help Rhode Island hold off Metro State in the opening round of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Monday night.
E.C. Matthews added 16 points and seven rebounds for Rhode Island (3-1), which will move on to face the winner between No. 5 Arizona and Fairleigh Dickinson Tuesday night at the McKale Center.
Mitch McCarron had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Metro State (2-0), which counted the game as an exhibition. Harrison Goodrick added 16 points and Nichols Kay had 11 for Metro State, which led by 14 early in the first half.
Rhode Island hit 8 of 17 from 3-point range and had a 42-27 rebounding advantage. Munford also had seven rebounds and five assists.