FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

 

April 13, 2012

 

 

 

2011-12 Rhode Island College
Menís Basketball Season Summary
(23-7 Overall; 10-4 in the Little East Conference)
2012 NCAA Div. III Tournament

 

Providence, RIóHead Coach Bob Walshís (Career record: 158-50, .760) team finished the 2011-2012 season with a 23-7 overall record and a 10-4 (second place tie) mark in the Little East Conference. The Anchormen notched their sixth consecutive 20-win campaign and earned their sixth straight NCAA Div. III Tournament appearance. Rhode Island College is one of just five Div. III programs in the nation to share that distinction. After knocking off Salem State in the first round, 77-60, RICís season came to an end with a 77-67 loss to Staten Island in the second round of the tournament.

 

The Anchormen opened up the year with a full head of steam and posted nine consecutive victories. The 9-0 record matched the programís best start to a season since the 1970-71 campaign. By virtue of a tiebreaker, the Anchormen ended up as the third seed in the 2012 Little East Conference Menís Basketball Tournament. After quickly dispatching sixth-seeded Plymouth State in the opening round, 79-48, on Feb. 21, RIC drew a date with second-seeded Western Connecticut in the semifinal. Despite trailing by nine points with a minute and a half remaining in the ballgame, the Anchormen roared from behind to top the Colonials, 75-74, on Feb. 24. RIC advanced to the tourney championship game for the sixth straight season, where the Anchormen lost to top seed and host Eastern Connecticut, 82-60, on Feb. 25. Rhode Island Collegeís resume was strong enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

 

 

 

Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) closed out his four-year career having played in 81 games, starting 57 of them. He totaled 1,084 points, 424 rebounds, 42 blocked shots, 39 steals and 33 assists in his career. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for his career. He ranks sixth all-time at RIC in career field goal percentage (.574).

 

As a senior in 2011-2012, Akinrola was named First Team All-Little East for the second straight season, while also being named Third Team All-Northeast Region by D3Hoops.com. The center played in 30 games, starting 29 of them. He led the Anchormen in scoring and rebounding with 18.1 points and 6.8 boards per game, while also chipping in with 22 blocked shots and 21 steals on the year. He posted a career-high 36 points at Western Connecticut on Jan. 24, while also tallying a season-high 13 rebounds in that same game. He handed out a season-high four assists against Western Connecticut on Feb. 14, while blocking a season-high three shots and recording a season-high three steals on two separate occasions. Following that performance, Akinrola was named the Little East Conference Menís Basketball Player of the Week and to the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week as well.

 

He also finished among the top five in the Little East Conference in points, rebounds and field goal percentage. On Feb. 21, he became the 31st player in program history to record 1,000 career points in a win over Plymouth State. Akinrola posted double-digit scoring efforts in 28 of the 30 games, which included the final 17 games of the season. He also accumulated five double-doubles on the year.

 

As a junior in 2010-2011, Akinrola was named First Team All-Little East, Second Team All-ECAC, the Little East Tournamentís Most Outstanding Player and team MVP. He played in 28 games, starting all of them. Akinrola averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 0.4 steals per game. He turned in 22 double-digit scoring nights, seven games of 20 points or more and two double-doubles. Akinrola 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 ďThe Murray Center Miracle,Ē a buzzer-beating three-pointer off an intentionally-missed free throw to force the second overtime and eventual victory. The shot likely saved the season for the Anchormen, who would have otherwise needed a scarce at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament. Akinrola was also named Little East Co-Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 30.

 

As a sophomore in 2009-2010, Akinrola played in 14 games. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game. Akinrola had season-highs of 21 points at Amherst on Feb. 2 and nine rebounds vs. Rutgers-Newark on March 5.

 

As a freshman in 2008-2009, Akinrola played in nine games. He averaged 1.1 points and 1.0 rebound per game. Akinrola recorded season-highs of four points and four rebounds at UMass Boston on Dec. 6.

 

He is a justice studies major and 2008 graduate of Woonsocket High School.

 

Senior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) closed out his four-year career having played in 116 games, starting 99 of them. He departs as the all-time leader at RIC in career games played. He totaled 1,382 points, 586 rebounds, 286 assists, 133 steals and 48 blocked shots in his four seasons with the Anchormen. Choice averaged 11.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals for his career. He ranks ninth all-time at RIC in career points and is 13th in career assists.

 

As a senior in 2011-2012, Choice was named First Team All-Little East for the third consecutive season. The forward played in 29 games, starting all of them. He averaged 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. This season, Choice ranked among the top 10 in the Little East Conference in points, rebounds, assists and free throw percentage, while ranking third in field goal percentage. He scored a season-high 23 points at Southern Maine on Feb. 11, hauled in 12 rebounds against Plymouth State on Feb. 21, swiped four steals against Eastern Connecticut on Jan. 28, blocked three shots against Southern Maine on Jan. 10 and dished out seven assists twice on the year.

 

Choice cracked double-digit scoring on 22 different occasions, including the last eight games of the season. He also posted a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds against Plymouth State on Feb. 21. In one of the biggest wins of the season for the Anchormen, Choice buried a pair of free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining to cap off the, 75-74, come-from-behind victory over Western Connecticut that sent RIC to the Little East Conference Tournament Championship game.

 

As a junior in 2010-2011, Choice was named First Team All-Little East, Second Team All-ECAC and to the league's All-Defensive Team. He played in 29 games, starting all of them. Choice averaged 12.1 points, a team-high 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He 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. He reached the 1,000 career-point milestone in the season-ending loss to Amherst on March 11. Choice dished out a season-high nine assists at Salve Regina on Dec. 7 and grabbed four steals in four games. He was named Little East Menís Basketball Player of the Week once.

 

As a sophomore in 2009-2010, Choice was named First Team All-Little East and to the leagueís All-Defensive Team. He played in 29 games, starting 28 of them. Choice ranked third on the team in scoring, was second in assists and fourth in rebounds. He averaged 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Choice registered season-highs of 24 points and five steals at Keene State on Jan. 9, seven assists vs. UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 26 and seven rebounds on multiple occasions.

 

As a freshman in 2008-2009, Choice was named to the Little East Menís Basketball All-Rookie Team. He played in 29 games, starting 13 of them. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Choice had season-highs of 22 points at UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 20, 10 rebounds vs. Keene State on Dec. 13 and four assists at Salve Regina on Jan. 6. He was named Menís Basketball Rookie of the Week twice.

 

He is a communications major and 2008 graduate of Rogers High School.

 

Senior guard Keith Hamilton (Queens Village, NY) closed out his three-year career at RIC having played in 65 games, starting four of them. He totaled 148 points, 49 rebounds, 25 assists and 20 steals during his tenure with the Anchormen, while also draining 38 three-pointers. Hamilton, who is of Puerto Rican-descent, was recently selected in the third round of the Puerto Rican National Basketball League Draft, also known as the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN).

 

As a senior in 2011-2012, Hamilton played in 15 games. He averaged 1.1 points and 0.7 rebounds per game. He tallied a season-high of five points on two separate occasions, while also notching a season-high of five rebounds against Bridgewater State on Nov. 22.

 

As a junior in 2010-2011, he played in 25 games. He averaged 1.6 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 0.4 steals per game. Hamilton posted season-highs of six points on three occasions and snagged a season-best three rebounds at Clark on Nov. 17. He swiped three steals vs. UMass Boston on Jan. 29.

 

As a sophomore in 2009-2010, Hamilton played in 25 games, starting four of them. He averaged 3.6 points and 1.0 three-point field goals made per game. Hamilton had career-highs of 19 points, with six treys, vs. UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 26 and six rebounds at Southern Maine on Feb 13. He drained 26 three-pointers on the season.

 

As a freshman in 2008-2009, Hamilton played at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, after transferring from Queensboro Community College.

 

He is a business management major and 2007 graduate of Msgr. McClancy Memorial High School.

 

Junior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) was named Second Team All-Little East and to the leagueís All-Defensive Team. He played in 29 games, starting all of them. The point guard averaged 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, while also averaging a team-high 4.2 assists and a team-high 1.6 steals per game. He scored a season-high 20 points against Amherst on Jan. 31, corralled a season-high 10 rebounds on Nov. 19 against Lasell, swiped a season-high five steals on Feb. 24 against Western Connecticut, and dished out a season-high of nine assists on two occasions. The co-captain was among the top 10 in the Little East Conference in rebounds, steals, and field goal percentage, while ranking third in assists.  He cracked double-digits in scoring 18 times.

 

Junior guard Randy Casey (Attleboro, MA) played in 22 games, starting one of them. He averaged 0.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 0.5 steals per game. Casey notched a season-high of four points against Plymouth State on Jan. 21, while hauling in four rebounds and three assists on three different occasions.

 

Junior guard Ethan Gaye (Providence, RI) played in 28 games, starting all of them. He averaged 4.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals per game. Gaye tallied a season-high 10 points at Wheaton on Jan. 15, while corralling a season-high six rebounds against Lasell on Nov. 19. He handed out a season-high of four assists at Western Connecticut on Jan. 24, while coming up with three steals on three separate occasions.

 

Junior center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) played in 23 games. He averaged 3.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 assists per game, while blocking 14 shots on the season. Roberts tallied a season-high eight points on three separate occasions, while recording a season-high eight rebounds on Feb. 14 against Western Connecticut and a season-high of three assists against Salem State on March 2.

 

Sophomore guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) played in 30 games, starting all of them. He averaged 6.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.8 steals per game, while draining a team-high 40 three-pointers on the season. DeCiantis recorded double-digit scoring efforts on nine different occasions, including a season-high 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting in RICís, 77-60, win over Salem State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He hauled in a season-high six rebounds against Plymouth State on Dec. 3, while registering three steals against Bridgewater State on Nov. 22, and handing out three assists on six occasions.

 

Sophomore guard Kadeem Francis (White Plains, NY) played in 21 games. He averaged 1.7 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. Francis posted six points in a win over UMass Boston on Jan. 7, while also dishing out three assists against Plymouth State on Feb. 21.

 

Sophomore guard Avery King (Pawtucket, RI) played in 24 games, starting one of them. He averaged 6.8 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.7 steals per game, while burying 34 treys on the season. King cracked double-digits in scoring eight times on the year and posted a season-high of 21 points at Keene State on Jan. 14. He also notched a season-high of six rebounds at Brandeis on Nov. 27, while dishing out three assists at Amherst on Jan. 31 and swiping three steals against Southern Maine on Jan. 10.

 

Sophomore guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) played in 27 games, starting one of them. He averaged 5.1 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game, while sinking 30 three-pointers on the year. Palumbo posted six double-digit scoring efforts, including a season-high 15-point outing on Feb. 9 against Bates in which he went 5-for-8 from downtown. He also recorded a season-high four rebounds in that same game.

 

Sophomore guard Joseph Saunders (Newport, RI) played in seven games. He averaged 0.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. His best performance came against UMass Boston on Jan. 7 as he posted two points, three rebounds and two assists.

 

Freshman forward Basheem Bennett (Poughkeepsie, NY) played in seven games. He averaged 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. Bennettís best outing of the season came against Johnson and Wales on Nov. 29 when he finished with season-highs of seven points, three rebounds and two assists.

 

Freshman forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) played in 28 games, starting one of them. He averaged 2.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 0.5 steals per game, while registering 20 blocked shots on the year. Burton registered season-highs of 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists on Jan. 7 against UMass Boston, while blocking a season-high four shots on Jan. 28 against Eastern Connecticut. He also came up with a season-high three steals in a win over Brandeis on Nov. 27.

 

Freshman guard Brandon Hill (Bronx, NY) played in 16 games. He averaged 1.3 points and 0.6 assists per game. Hill totaled a season-high eight points against WPI on Dec. 8, while handing out a season-high three assists against Salve Regina on Dec. 6.

 

Freshman forward Jacob Page (Brookline, MA) played in 30 games, starting one of them. He averaged 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 assists on the season. Page dropped a season-high eight points against Johnson and Wales on Nov. 29, corralled a season-high five rebounds on Dec. 3 against Plymouth State, and swiped a pair of steals against Lasell on Nov. 19.