The Explorers (10-6, 3-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) erased a one-point deficit in the latter part of the first half with a 15-2 run, taking a 32-20 lead and never trailing again.
Rhode Island was hurt by its performance at the free throw line, hitting just 11 of 21 attempts.
The Rams have now lost three straight since beating LSU on the road on Jan. 4.
Mike Brey is looking at former Notre Dame players to fill two assistant jobs that have opened up with the departures of Martin Ingelsby and Anthony Solomon.
Purdue's 2016-17 prospects got a jolt Wednesday when forward Caleb Swanigan announced he will return for his sophomore season.
Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame says he is withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to school for a final season.