FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

March 22, 2011

 

AKINROLA & CHOICE GARNER
ALL-ECAC HONORS

Providence, RI—Rhode Island College juniors Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) and Mason Choice (Newport, RI) were named Second Team All-ECAC for their respective performances in men’s basketball this season.

 

Akinrola, who was also named First Team All-Little East and the Little East Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, played in 28 games, starting all of them.  Akinrola emerged as a dominant post player in his junior season, averaging 14.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. 

 

 

 Junior center Mike Akinrola

 

The center turned in 22 double-digit scoring nights, seven games of 20 points or more and two double-doubles. He scored a season-high 26 points in a Nov. 30 win at Johnson and Wales. His most significant performance came in the form of 23 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in RIC's victory over Keene State in a historic semifinal game of the 2011 Little East Tournament. In that game, Akinrola famously connected on “The Murray Center Miracle,” a buzzer-beating three-pointer off an intentionally missed free throw to force the second overtime, which led to an eventual victory. The shot likely saved the season for the Anchormen, who would have otherwise needed a scarce at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Akinrola was also named Little East Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 30.

 

Choice, who was named First Team All-Little East and to the league's All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season, played in 29 games, starting all of them. He averaged 12.1 points, a team-high 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. The forward tallied 19 double-digit scoring games, highlighted by a 24-point effort at Roger Williams on Jan. 5. He had a pair of double-doubles on the year: 12 points and a season high 12 rebounds in a season-defining win at Western Connecticut on Feb. 8, and 15 points to go along with 11 rebounds at WPI on Dec. 9. Choice dished out a season-high nine assists at Salve Regina on Dec. 7 and grabbed four steals on four other occasions. He was named Little East Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 13.

 

 

 Junior forward Mason Choice

 

Head Coach Bob Walsh’s team turned in another historic season in 2010-11, repeating as Little East Champions of both the regular season and postseason tournament, and returning to the NCAA's Sweet 16 for the second straight year and third time in five years.

 

The Anchormen clinched an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament with a 62-49 victory over third-seeded Eastern Connecticut in the 2011 Little East Tournament Final. The victory elevated the program to the NCAA tournament for a fifth consecutive year, making Coach Walsh's squad one of only five Div. III programs in the country to appear in the national tournament consecutively from 2007-2011. Rhode Island College claimed its fourth tournament championship in the last five years (2010, '08, '07), and its fifth regular season championship in the last seven years (2010, '09, '07, '05).

 

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