Anchormen Slug it Out With USM for, 64-46, Win

More news about: Rhode Island College

Providence, R.I.-Sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while junior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) contributed 14 points, to lead the Rhode Island College men's basketball team to a 64-46 victory over Southern Maine on Sunday afternoon at The Murray Center in Little East Conference action.


Rhode Island College (20-3, 11-1 LEC) registered its seventh straight 20-win season with the win and also picked up its 12th victory in the last 13 games. For the ninth time this season, the Anchormen held an opponent to 50 points or less.


"Our team defense won this game for us," said Head Coach Bob Walsh. "To hold them 30 points below their scoring average and to 30 percent shooting is a great effort. The effort today embodied the toughness and intensity that our seniors have brought for four years. I'm really proud of our seniors and this group."


After RIC jumped out to a 12-4 lead early in the first half, Southern Maine (13-10, 7-5 LEC) bounced back to cut the deficit to one following a three-pointer from freshman guard Cole Libby (Buxton, ME) with 13:12 remaining in the frame. However, the hosts quickly surged ahead with a 14-3 run to take a double-digit lead with 5:35 on the clock and eventually went into the intermission leading, 33-19.


The Huskies chipped away at the deficit early in the second half, cutting the margin to nine following a basket from senior guard Mike Poulin (Readfield, ME) with 14:24 left to play. However, the Anchormen proved to be too much for USM as they pulled away from the visitors down the stretch en route to the double-digit victory.


Rhode Island College held senior guard Alex Kee (Bath, ME), the top scorer in the Little East, to just nine points on 3-of-13 shooting. Kee added five rebounds and two steals, while junior guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, ME), the second leading scorer in the LEC, finished with a team-high 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Poulin finished with eight points, five rebounds and three steals for the Huskies, while junior guard Brandon Tomah (Calais, ME) finished with six points, four rebounds and three assists.


Aside from Burton and DeCiantis, the Anchormen were paced by senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY), who posted nine points, five rebounds and three assists in the win. Senior center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) recorded eight points off the bench.


RIC outrebounded USM, 52-37, and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds as a team. However, the Anchormen committed 17 turnovers, including 14 in the second half, compared to 14 turnovers for the Huskies.


The Anchormen shot 37 percent (24-for-65) from the field, 20 percent (3-for-15) from downtown and 68 percent (13-for-19) from the free throw line. The Huskies shot 30 percent (16-for-54) from the floor, 16 percent (3-for-19) from beyond the arc and 52 percent (11-for-21) from the free throw line.


In what proved to be a physical game on both ends of the floor, the two teams combined for a total of 38 fouls on the day.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play at Western Connecticut on Wednesday, Feb. 13 (7:30 p.m.).