For Immediate Release

 

Saturday, January 6, 2007

 

RHODE ISLAND RALLIES PAST EASTERN IN OVERTIME

Anchormen hand Warriors first Little East menís basketball loss after two victories

 

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. Ė Sophomore Cameron Stewart (Newport, RI) scored on a putback to tie the game with 20 seconds left in regulation and the Rhode Island College menís basketball team never trailed in overtime, posting an 87-79 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

 

The win is the seventh straight for Rhode Island (10-1, 2-1 little east conference) and fifth in a row over Eastern (7-4, 2-1 little east conference), which had won its first two conference games for the first time in the conferenceís 21-year history. The Warriors have lost two in a row after winning five straight.

 

The Anchormen trailed by 13 points in the final 30 seconds of the first half but rallied to tie the game nine minutes into the second half. Freshman Edwin Ortiz (Hartford, CT), who sank eight three-point field goals on the way to a career-high 32 points, gave the Warriors a 71-69 lead with 35 seconds left. Rhode Island missed a game-tying shot on its next possession, but Stewart grabbed the rebound and put it back in with 19.7 seconds left. Eastern junior Leon Martin (Woodbury, CT) missed a potential game-winning shot at the horn ending regulation, with an 18-foot attempt from the right corner.

 

Rhode Island scored the first two buckets in overtime and never trailed thereafter. Senior Brian Stanko (Swansea, MA) hit a driving lay-up for the first points of overtime and sophomore Tirrell Hill (Bronx, NY) put back a missed shot to make it 75-71.

 

Hill led his team with 13 points after the break, while first-year sophomore Bobby Bailey (Fall River, MA) grabbed all 10 of his rebounds after halftime. After shooting 29 percent over the first 20 minutes, Rhode Island canned 53.1 percent of its shots (17-of-32) after the break. As a team, Rhode Island outscored Eastern by 16 at the foul line, converting 31-of-39, including eight of 10 in overtime.

 

Hill led Rhode Island with 23 points, Bailey added 15 points and 10 rebounds and senior Kamari Williams (Springfield, MA) 14 points (10-for-10 from the stripe). Leading scorer Kinsey Durgin (Greenwood, ME), a senior, added 12 points, nine coming after the break.

 

Ortiz and Martin (24 points) combined to score 56 of Easternís 79 points. Ortiz was 6-for-8 from three-point range in the first half on the way to his career-high point total. Martin connected on nine-of-16 field goals and all five of his free throws and added a game and season-high 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the year.

 

Eastern played without senior guard Mike Parker (Windsor, CT), who injured his leg in the teamís loss at Embry-Riddle University Wednesday. Parker is averaging 12.0 points and 5.4 assists.

 

In upcoming action, RIC will host Southern Maine on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

 

-30-