March 7, 2008


Rhode Island College Men’s Basketball Score Report

Pomona, N.J.








Rhode Island College (23-6)

Nazareth (20-8)






RIC Advances to Second Round of the Big Dance

            Pomona, N.J.—Rhode Island College junior guard Tirrell Hill (Bronx, NY) hit two free throws with 1.0 seconds left in regulation to lead the Anchormen past Nazareth, 77-73, in first round action of the 2008 NCAA Div. III Men’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at the Stockton Sports Complex at Richard Stockton College.


The Anchormen advance to face host Richard Stockton, which defeated Immaculata, 84-75, in overtime, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. from the Stockton Sports Complex.


“It was a great win,“ Rhode Island College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. “Any NCAA Tournament win is a great win. We didn’t play our best, but we battled through and showed our toughness, which has become a trademark of this team.”


Rhode Island College held an 11-point advantage, 51-40, with 12:31 left in the game before the Golden Flyers came back to life. Nazareth chipped the deficit down to five points, 65-60, with 3:05 left on a senior guard Joe Canori (Webster, NY) tip-in. Sophomore guard Rayvon Higdon (Rochester, NY) capitalized on a Hill miss with a layup of his own on the ensuing possession to whittle the lead down to three points, 65-62.


The two teams traded baskets over the next two minutes, culminating with RIC junior guard Bobby Bailey’s (Fall River, MA) layup with 1:11 left on the clock to keep RIC on top by five points, 71-66.


Nazareth junior forward Ryan McAdam (Fairport, NY) converted a shot, but Hill answered back with a layup with 47 seconds left to make the score 73-68.


Things got dicey as Hill was called for a technical foul after he was fouled on an inbounds play. Canori nailed two free throws to cut RIC’s lead back down to three points, 73-70, with 36 seconds left. Hill went down the other end of the floor and hit one of two to put the Anchormen up by four, 74-70.


The Golden Flyers got the ball back and Canori promptly drained a three-pointer with 21 seconds left to pull NC within one, 74-73. Bailey was fouled and was able to make one of two from the charity stripe, making it a one possession game. Junior guard Cameron Stewart (Newport, RI) got a piece of Canori’s attempted shot, which caused it to fall short. Hill grabbed the board, was fouled and converted both free throws to seal the win.


“It was a good win for the team today,” Stewart added. “We got the first one under our belt and hopefully we won’t turn the ball over as much tomorrow night.”


RIC had four players score in double figures led by Stewart’s team-high 17-point effort. Junior center Wil Lyons (Warwick, RI), freshman guard Anthony Fortes (East Providence, RI) and Bailey rounded out the Anchormen contingent with 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively. Fortes posted his second consecutive collegiate double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.


Ryan McAdam led all scorers with 20 points, while Canori and sophomore guard Corey McAdam (Fairport, NY) added 17 and 13 respectively. Corey McAdam and senior center Tyler Smith (Fairport, NY) each grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.


RIC struggled from downtown, converting on just three (3-for-17) trifectas on the night. The Anchormen turned the ball over 25 times, but outrebounded the Golden Flyers, 42-36. Rhode Island College shot 45 percent (29-of-64) from the field, while Nazareth logged a 43 percent (29-of-68) effort.