FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 20, 2014

 

2013-14 Rhode Island College Menís Basketball
Season Summary

(20-9 Overall; 11-3 in the Little East Conference)
2014 Little East Conference Tournament Champions
2014 NCAA Div. III Menís Basketball Tournament Participant

Providence, R.I.-Head Coach Bob Walshís (Career Record: 204-63, .764) team finished the 2013-2014 season with a 20-9 overall record and an 11-3 mark in the Little East Conference. Following a second-place finish in the standings during the regular season, the Anchormen went on to make their eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after winning their sixth Little East Conference Tournament Championship in the last 10 years.

 

The Anchormen entered the 2014 Little East Conference Menís Basketball Tournament as the second seed, while Eastern Connecticut was awarded the top seed overall after becoming the first team in league history to finish with a perfect 14-0 conference record. RIC hosted seventh-seeded Southern Maine in the quarterfinals on Feb. 25 and quickly dispatched the Huskies, 74-66, before drawing a date with third-seeded UMass Dartmouth in the semifinals.

 

 

 

Behind a 49 percent shooting effort for the game and a 42-point first half, the Anchormen cruised past the Corsairs, 82-69, on Feb. 28 en route to a matchup with top-seeded Eastern Connecticut in the title game, the third Little East Conference Championship meeting between these two programs in the last four seasons.

 

Keyed by a ferocious defensive effort, Rhode Island College upended the hosts, 70-61, en route to its second straight Little East Conference Tournament Championship and its sixth title in the program history. Not only did RIC hand the Warriors their first conference loss of the season, the Anchormen became the first No. 2 seed to defeat the No. 1 seed in the Championship contest since 2009, when RIC dropped a 62-53 decision to UMass Dartmouth.

 

After becoming one of just five programs in the nation to reach the NCAAs for an eighth consecutive campaign, Rhode Island College was awarded a home game for the First Round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. However, the Anchormen eventually fell to York (NY) at The Murray Center, 79-54, to close out the season on March 6.

 

 

 

Senior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) finished his four-year career with Rhode Island College having played in 100 career games, starting 71 of them. DeCiantis totaled 725 points, 349 rebounds, 157 assists, 76 steals and 21 blocked shots to go along with 131 three-pointers. For his career, he averaged 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.2 blocked shots.

 

As a senior in 2013-14, DeCiantis played in 28 games, starting 24 of them. He averaged 8.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.4 blocked shots per game to go along with 40 three-pointers, which ranked eighth in the LEC. DeCiantis ranked second on the squad in rebounds, assists, and steals, while ranking third on the team in steals and blocks. He registered four double-doubles on the year and finished with 10 double-digit scoring efforts.

 

DeCiantis poured in a career-high 20 points against Southern Maine on Feb. 15 and drained a season-high eight free throws along the way. He racked up a career-high 13 rebounds against Johnson & Wales on Jan. 5. DeCiantis dished out a career-high seven assists at Western Connecticut on Jan. 22 and swiped a season-high three steals against Plymouth State on Feb. 22. He posted a season-high two blocked shots on three occasions and buried a season-high four three-pointers against UMass Dartmouth on Feb. 28.

 

As a junior in 2012-13, DeCiantis played in 30 games, starting 17 of them. He averaged 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 steals per game. DeCiantis knocked down a team-high 49 three-pointers and ranked ninth in the Little East Conference in both three-point shooting percentage (.383) and three-pointers per game (1.6). He posted 12 double-digit scoring efforts and tallied a season-high 19 points on two occasions. DeCiantis also hauled in a season-high seven rebounds on three occasions, swiped a season-high three steals on three occasions and dished out a season-high four assists on two occasions.

 

As a sophomore in 2011-12, he played in 30 games, starting all of them. DeCiantis 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. He 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. DeCiantis hauled in a season-high six rebounds against Plymouth State on Dec. 3, registered three steals against Bridgewater State on Nov. 22, and handed out three assists on six occasions.

 

As a freshman in 2010-11, DeCiantis played in 12 games. He averaged 1.3 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.3 steals per game. DeCiantis posted season highs of four points against Southern Maine on Feb. 12 and three rebounds against Emmanuel on Jan. 20.

 

DeCiantis is a history major and a 2010 graduate of North Kingstown High School.

 

Senior guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) wrapped up his four-year career at Rhode Island College having played in 99 career games, starting nine of them. During his time with the Anchormen, Palumbo racked up 450 points, 95 rebounds, 77 assists, 43 steals and four blocked shots to go along with 84 three-pointers. He averaged 4.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.4 steals per game for his career.

 

As a senior in 2013-14, Palumbo played in 28 games, starting eight of them. He averaged 5.4 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.1 blocked shots for the year to go along with 22 three-pointers. Palumbo ranked second on the squad in free throw percentage (.857) and posted the fifth-highest single-season free throw percentage in program history. He posted eight double-digit scoring efforts, highlighted by a career-high 16 point scoring outburst at Brandeis on Nov. 23. Palumbo also gathered a season-high three rebounds against Brandeis and scored the game-winning layup at the buzzer. He handed out a career-high six assists against Johnson & Wales on Jan. 5. Palumbo recorded a season-high two steals on three occasions and sank a season-high three three-pointers on two occasions.

 

As a junior in 2012-13, Palumbo played in 30 games. He averaged 4.7 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.5 steals per game for the season. Palumbo posted five double-digit scoring efforts on the year and finished with a season-high 13 points against Eastern Connecticut on Jan. 26. He also recorded a season-high four rebounds on two occasions, a season-high four assists against Bridgewater State on Nov. 20, and a season-high three steals against Bates on Nov. 25.

 

As a sophomore in 2011-12, he played in 27 games, starting one of them. Palumbo averaged 5.1 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game, while sinking 30 three-pointers on the year. He posted six double-digit scoring efforts, including a season-high 15-point outing against Bates on Feb. 9 in which he went 5-for-8 from downtown. Palumbo also recorded a season-high four rebounds in that same game.

 

As a freshman in 2010-11, Palumbo played in 14 games. He averaged 1.4 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 0.4 steals per game for the season. Palumbo scored his season-high of five points in the NCAA Second Round victory over Penn State-Behrend on March 4 and also grabbed a season-high three rebounds in a win over Southern Maine on Feb. 12.

 

Palumbo is a communications major and a 2010 graduate of Classical High School.

 

Senior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) spent two seasons at Rhode Island College after playing at Div. II Post University during his freshman year and at Div. II Southern Connecticut State during his sophomore year. In his four seasons of collegiate basketball, Sanders played in 79 games, starting 45 of them. He totaled 838 points, 256 rebounds, 201 assists, 118 steals and 10 blocked shots to go along with 90 career three-pointers. Sanders averaged 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.1 blocks per game through his career at RIC.

 

As a senior in 2013-14, Sanders played in 17 games, starting nine of them. He averaged 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocked shots per game to go along with 20 three-pointers. Sanders ranked third on the team in scoring and led the Anchormen in three-point field goal percentage (.400). He posted nine double-digit scoring efforts on the season and erupted for a season-high 26 points at Eastern Connecticut on Dec. 7. Sanders pulled down a season-high nine rebounds and handed out a season-high six assists against Lasell on Nov. 21. He buried a season-high three three-pointers against Skidmore on Nov. 15 and drained a season-high 10 free throws at Eastern Connecticut on Dec. 7. Sanders tallied a season-high two steals on five occasions.

 

As a junior in 2012-13, he played in 25 games, starting 13 of them. Sanders averaged a team-high 11.4 points per game to go along with 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He ranked second in the LEC in steals per game and ranked fifth in free throw shooting (.802). Sanders scored in double figures 16 times on the season and registered season-highs of 20 points and six rebounds against Johnson & Wales on Dec. 19. He also dished out a season-high five assists against Hobart on March 2 and notched a season-high six steals against WPI on Dec. 6.

 

As a sophomore in 2010-11, Sanders played in seven games while at Div. II Southern Connecticut State University. He averaged 4.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

 

As a freshman in 2009-10, he played in 30 games, starting 23 of them, for Div. II Post University. Sanders averaged 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game on the year. He named the CACC Rookie of the Week once on the season.

 

Sanders is a communications/public relations major and a 2009 graduate of a St. Andrewís School.

 

Junior forward Jacob Page (Brookline, MA) closed out his three-year career with Rhode Island College having played in 88 games, starting 25 of them. He compiled 214 points, 187 rebounds, 44 assists, 37 steals, six blocked shots, and 21 three-pointers with the Anchormen. For his career, Page averaged 2.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.1 blocks per game. Although he has one additional year of eligibility remaining, Page is graduating.

 

As a junior in 2013-14, Page played in 28 games, starting nine of them. He averaged 4.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.1 blocked shots per game to go along with 10 three-pointers. Page finished with two double-digit scoring efforts, highlighted by a career-high 12-point outburst at UMass Boston on Feb. 1. He grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against York in the NCAA Tournament on March 6. Page gathered a season-high three steals against Skidmore on Nov. 15 and dished out a season-high three assists twice on the year. He sank a season-high three three-pointers against Elms on Dec. 5.

 

As a sophomore in 2012-13, Page played in 30 games, starting 15 of them. He averaged 1.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.4 steals per game. Page tallied season-highs of 11 points and eight rebounds against Lasell on Nov. 15. He recorded a season-high three steals against Keene State on Feb. 16 and a season-high two assists against UMass Boston on Feb. 2.

 

As a freshman in 2011-12, Page 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 against Plymouth State on Dec. 3, and swiped a pair of steals against Lasell on Nov. 19.

 

He is a sociology major and a 2010 graduate of Brookline High School.

 

Junior guard Eric Alleyne (Watertown, MA) was one of three Anchormen to play in all 29 games this season and started in 24 of them. He averaged 6.3 points, 2.6 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game. Alleyne led the team in assists, ranked second in steals and third in free throw percentage (.739). He scored in double-figures on nine occasions and poured in a season-high 19 points at Eastern Connecticut in the 2014 Little East Conference Championship Game on March 1. Alleyne handed out a season-high seven assists and gathered a season-high five rebounds against UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 28. He tallied a season-high three steals on three occasions. Alleyne buried a season-high three three-pointers against Southern Maine on Feb. 25 and sank a season-high eight free throws against Elms on Dec. 5.

 

Junior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) was named First Team All-Little East Conference and was also named to the leagueís All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive campaign. He was also named the teamís MVP and the 2014 Little East Conference Menís Basketball Tournamentís Most Outstanding Player. Burton played in 27 games, starting 19 of them, and led the team in minutes played (27.0 mpg). He averaged 12.0 points, a team-high 6.3 rebounds, a team-high 2.4 steals, 1.9 assists and a team-high 1.9 blocks per game. Burton led the LEC in steals, ranked third in blocked shots, and ninth in rebounding. He also ranked second on the Anchormen in scoring and third on the team in three-pointers with 24 on the year. Burton finished with 19 double-digit scoring efforts on the season, highlighted by a 27-point, 14-rebound outburst against Western Connecticut on Feb. 11.

 

He posted double-digit rebounds on four occasions and pulled down a season-high 15 boards against Elms College on Dec. 5. Burton swiped a season-high six steals at UMass Dartmouth on Feb. 18, blocked five shots against Lasell on Nov. 21 and dished out five assists against Plymouth State on Feb. 22. He drained a season-high five three-pointers against Western Connecticut on Feb. 11 and connected on a season-high 10 free throws against UMass Dartmouth on Feb. 28. Burton was named the Little East Conference Player of the Week once on the season.

 

Junior center Victor Smith (Providence, RI) was named First Team All-Little East. He was one of three Anchormen to play in all 29 games this season and started in 13 of them. Smith averaged 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 0.8 assists and 0.4 steals per game. He led the Little East Conference in field goal percentage after shooting 54 percent (132-for-244) from the floor. Smith also ranked second on the squad and eighth in the LEC in blocked shots, while ranking third on the team in rebounding.

 

He registered 13 double-digit scoring efforts, including a season-high 22-point outburst against Keene State on Feb. 8. Smith grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds against York in the NCAA Tournament on March 6. He also swatted a season-high five shots against Keene State on Feb. 8, dished out a season-high four assists against Elms on Dec. 5 and swiped a season-high two steals on two occasions. He was named to the Babson Invitational All-Tournament Team on Nov. 16 and was named the Little East Conference Player of the Week once on the season.

 

Sophomore center Mike Neal (Pawtucket, RI) played in 26 games, starting 16 of them. He averaged 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. Neal finished with two double-digit scoring efforts, highlighted by a 12-point outing against Thomas College on Nov. 16. He pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds at Brandeis on Nov. 23, blocked a season-high two shots against Skidmore on Nov. 15 and dished out a season-high two assists against UMass Boston on Dec. 14.

 

Sophomore guard Jazz Robinson (Pawtucket, RI) played in six games. He averaged 0.3 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game on the year.

 

Freshman guard Austin Cilley (Westerly, RI) was named to the Little East Conference All-Rookie Team. He played 22 games, starting 17 of them. Cilley averaged a team-high 12.4 points to go along with 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He ranked second in the Little East in free throw percentage (.879) and posted the third-highest single-season free throw percentage in program history. Cilley knocked down a team-high 48 three-pointers, which ranked fifth in the conference, and shot 39 percent from downtown which ranked ninth in the LEC.

 

He posted 13 double-digit scoring efforts, highlighted by a season-high 26-point scoring outburst at Keene State on Jan. 11. Cilley dished out a season-high seven assists and swiped a season-high three steals at Bridgewater State on Nov. 26. He also pulled down a season-high six rebounds on three occasions. Cilley buried a season-high five three-pointers on two occasions and connected on a season-high 11 free throws against Keene State on Feb. 8. He was the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week twice on the season.

 

Freshman guard John Gause (Mount Vernon, NY) played in 26 games, starting one of them. He averaged 1.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals per game on the year. Gause also shot 53 percent (16-for-30) from the floor, which ranked third on the team. He tallied a season-high seven points against UMass Dartmouth on Jan. 28, corralled a season-high six rebounds against Southern Maine on Feb. 25, handed out a season-high four assists on three occasions and notched a season-high three steals against Tufts on Jan. 9.

 

Freshman forward Terrance Tribble (White Plains, NY) was one of three Anchormen to play in all 29 games this season and started five of them. He averaged 4.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.3 assists and 0.3 blocks per game for the season. Tribble also shot at a team-high 59 percent (54-for-92) clip from the floor. He posted a pair of double-digit scoring efforts, including a season-high 12 point effort against UMass Boston on Dec. 14. Tribble gathered a season-high nine rebounds against Elms on Dec. 5 and handed out a season-high two assists on two occasions. He registered a season-high three steals on two occasions and recorded a season-high two blocked shots on two occasions.