January 20, 2009



North Dartmouth, MA-Rhode Island College freshman forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Anchormen past UMass Dartmouth, 69-66, on Tuesday night at the Tripp Athletic Center.



 Freshman Forward Mason Choice (photo courtesy of


The  Anchormen raise their record to 11-4 overall and 5-1 in the Little East. The Corsairs suffer their first league loss, 5-1, of the year and drop to 13-2 overall. Both clubs now sit atop the conference standings with eight league contests remaining.


The Anchormen trailed by one point, 30-29, at the half and fell behind by nine, 38-29, after a sophomore forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA) three-pointer capped an 8-0 run for the hosts with 17:53 remaining in the final frame.


Rhode Island College responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead, 40-38, at the 14:08 mark, keyed by two senior guard Tirrell Hill (Bronx, NY) three-pointers and a Choice bucket and free throw. The Corsairs regained the lead on back-to-back layups by junior guard V.J. Divine (Brookline, MA) and classmate forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA).


Choice scored the Anchormen's next six points with two layups and a pair of free throws to give RIC a 44-42 advantage with 12:10 remaining. The Anchormen would not trail again, building a lead that swelled to eight points, 50-42, on a senior guard Cameron Stewart (Newport, RI) layup at the 10:18 mark.


 UMass Dartmouth got within one point, 52-51, on a senior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA) trey with 4:14 left on the clock. Once again, Choice answered for RIC with a layup and free throw to give the Anchormen a four-point cushion. Stewart hit two free throws to put RIC up by seven, 60-53, with 1:23 left.


 The Corsairs made it a one possession game, 66-63, with 33 seconds left on a Shelton layup, but senior center Wil Lyons (Warwick, RI) made a pair of free throws to keep UMD at bay. Choice added another free throw and Shelton connected on a trifecta with one second left as the game came to an end.


 Hill helped out the RIC offense with 15 points, while sophomore forward Darius Debnam (Mattapan, MA) grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) dished out five assists, made three steals and scored four points. Choice added eight boards.


 Stephens scored 20 for the hosts, while Shelton finished a point off the pace.


 RIC shot 48 percent (21-for-44) from the field and 75 percent (24-for-32) from the free throw line. Choice made 10-of-14 from the charity stripe.


In upcoming action, the Anchormen will host UMass Boston on Saturday, Jan. 24 at The Murray Center.