Saturday, Feb.4, 2006




Anchormen end game with 19-4 run to overcome late double-digit deficit


WILLIMANTIC, Conn.--  Senior guard Kevin Payette hit tying and go-ahead three-point field goals in the final minute to cap a remarkable Rhode Island College menís basketball comeback , 78-76, in Little East Conference play Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.


Payette tied the game at 74-all with a three-pointer from the corner with one minute left, and gave Rhode Island (13-7, 6-4 little east) the lead for good, 77-74 with six seconds left with another three-pointer from the same spot. Both buckets were set up on passes from junior guard Kinsey Durgin.


Eastern (7-13, 2-8 little east) scored the first eight points of the game, led by as many as 14 with eight minutes left and by 13 with four minutes remaining before the Anchormen ended the game with a 19-4 run. Trailing by 13, 72-59, the Anchormen scored nine straight to slice the Eastern lead to four, 72-68 with just over two minutes left. Leading by three, 74-71, Eastern turned the ball over and Payette answered with his game-tying three-pointer.  Eastern missed a three-pointer, then was called for a shot clock violation after regaining possession, Payette swished his go-ahead three points with six seconds left.


Payette and Durgin each scored 12 points in the second half, sinking seven of 12 field goals (4-for-7 from three-point range) and six of seven free throws and grabbing eight rebounds. After shooting just 25.8 per cent from the floor and trailing by six, 37-31 at halftime, Rhode Island shot 51.7 per cent in the second half on the way to its fifth straight win.


Durgin (20) and Payette (19) led the Anchormen offensively and also combined for ten rebounds. Junior forward Brian Stanko added 14 points. He was 6-for-6 from the foul line, Durgin 5-for-5 and Payette 5-for-6 and freshman forward Kaseem Johnson 4-for-5. The Anchormen were 22 of 26 from the stripe, Eastern 16 of 22.


Eastern sophomore center Kevin Zalucki (ENFIELD) had a team-high 14 points and game-high eight rebounds before fouling out with 3:54 left. Zalucki was issued a technical foul (his fifth foul of the game) for hanging on the rim after his dunk gave Eastern a 13-point lead.


Junior forward Leon Martin (WOODBURY) added 11 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Matt Albon (MIDDLEBURY)  also had 11 points and junior center Dan Trudeau (ROCKVILLE) ten on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor before being ejected when he was charged with his fifth personal foul that allowed Stanko to complete a three-point play and pull the Anchormen to within three, 74-71, with 1:19 left. Zalucki and Martin combined to convert 11 of 16 shots from the floor.


Eastern visits Keene State College in a Little East Conference game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.