November 7, 2008



Kingston, RIóRhode Island College lost its preseason exhibition game to Div. I University of Rhode Island, 109-69, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools in men's basketball action on Friday evening in front of 6,044 raucous fans at the Ryan Center.



 A crowd of over 6,000 people came to the Ryan Center to watch RIC battle the Rams.


The Anchormen played a competitive first half, but found themselves down, 48-30, at the break. Senior forward Kaseem Johnson (New Haven, CT) paced the RIC attack with eight points and four rebounds. The Rams used their athleticism and size to pressure Rhode Island College, forcing 16 turnovers. The Anchormen did a good job on the glass, holding a 23-16 advantage on the boards. Rhody shot 53 percent (18-for-34) from the field and made eight of 12 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Keith Cothran (New Haven, CT) logged 12 first half points on 5-for-8 shooting, which included two three-pointers. Senior guard Jimmy Baron (East Greenwich, RI) was 4-for-6 from the floor for nine points.



 Coach Walsh talks to the Anchormen during the first half.


The University of Rhode Island opened the second stanza on a 23-12 run and never looked back en route to the victory. The Rams forced 26 turnovers, made 15 steals and blocked nine shots in the win. Baron, who connected on six treys, led four Rams in double figures in scoring with a game-high 26, while Cothran was seven off the pace. Junior forward Delroy James (Brooklyn, NY) and senior frontcourt mate Kahiem Seawright (Uniondale, NY) each logged 10 points. The Rams shot 61 percent (11-for-18) from downtown.


 Senior guard Tirrell Hill (Bronx, NY) scored 13 for the Anchormen, while freshman guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) registered 10 points.


 "I am really proud of our guys," Coach Walsh said. "I told them they earned the right to be here based on the way we've played over the past three years. The most important thing to us is how we compete. I thought we really took it to them, but ultimately they just wore us down."


"It was a great experience," senior guard Tirrell Hill said after the loss. "We left it out there on the court. We had to adjust to their length so they were tipping a lot of the passes we would normally complete. Basically we just had to be stronger with the ball than we were. We played a good team. We're going to come back on Sunday (in practice) and work hard and compete every day."



 Senior Guard Tirrell Hill


 "We have the whole season in front of us," senior forward Kaseem Johnson added. "We're not going to hang our heads. We're going to build on this loss and move on from there."



 Senior Forward Kaseem Johnson


RIC had defeated Div. I Iona (2006) and Holy Cross (2007) in previous exhibition action.  The Rams reached the 100-point milestone for the second consecutive game, having defeated Concordia (Que.), 123-84, on Monday.


Rhode Island College will open the regular season at Manhanttanville on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.