February 21, 2009




Bailey Nets Game-High 16 Points on Senior Day


Providence, RIóSenior guard Bobby Bailey (Fall River, MA) scored a game-high 16 points to lead the No. 18 Rhode Island College menís basketball team to a 78-65, win over Eastern Connecticut in the final regular season game for both clubs.






 RIC Seniors Cameron Stewart, Kaseem Johnson,
Wil Lyons, Bobby Bailey and Tirrell Hill.




The Anchormen clinched the programís second outright Little East Conference Regular Season Championship in the win. RIC wins its 12th straight game and raises its record to 21-4 overall and 13-1 in the Little East Conference, establishing a new program record for league wins. Rhode Island College has the home court advantage throughout the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, Feb. 24, when the top-seeded Anchormen host eighth-seeded Southern Maine at The Murray Center (7 p.m.). Fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut will play at fourth-seeded Keene State on Tuesday, Feb. 24 (7:30 p.m.)




The Anchormen have now won at least a share of the LEC regular season title in three of the last five seasons.




RIC held the early advantage, 4-0, on two Bailey free throws and a layup by senior guard Cameron Stewart (Newport, RI). The Warriors (12-13, 6-8) responded with a 10-3 run to open up a three-point lead, 10-7, on a sophomore center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk, CT) layup at 14:32.




Two free throws by sophomore guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) pulled the Anchormen within a point, 14-13, and senior backcourt mate Tirrell Hill (Bronx, NY) buried a three-pointer to regain the lead, 16-14, at 12:23.




The Warriors pulled within one point, 26-25, of the RIC lead at 4:49 on a triple from senior guard Kris Johnson (Sturbridge, MA), but Gray came back with a layup, was fouled and sank his free throw to keep the guests at bay. The hosts outscored Eastern Connecticut, 10-6, over the final minutes of the first half to take a 39-31 lead into the locker room.




The visitors cut the RIC advantage in half during the first 1:08 of the second stanza on layups from sophomore guard Courtney Simmons (Middletown, CT) and freshman backcourt mate Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY), only to see senior center Wil Lyons (Warwick, RI) and classmate forward Kaseem Johnson (New Haven, CT) answer right back for the Anchormen.






 The Senior Class along with their families and Rhode Island College
President Nancy Carriuolo during the pre-game ceremony.




Rhode Island College held a double-digit lead for a good portion of the second half. The Warriors had their best chance to get back into the game when freshman center Jeremy Thompson (Berlin, CT) sank a free throw to cut the deficit down to seven, 62-55, with 6:52 left. After a missed Anchorman three-pointer, Eastern Connecticut had the ball with a chance to make it a two possession game, but freshman guard Rob Bentil (East Hartford, CT) anticipated an entry pass and picked it off, which led to a Johnson layup. That bucket began an 8-0 run, which allowed RIC to put the game away.




A Hill layup put the hosts up by a game-high 17 points, 74-57, with 2:54 remaining and effectively ended the game.




Johnson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Stewart was point off the pace. Hill and Lyons netted nine points apiece, while freshman forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) chipped in with eight points and five boards.




Thompson led ECSU with 15 points and eight rebounds. Nedwick and Simmons followed with 13 and 12, respectively.




It was Senior Day as Bailey, Hill, Johnson, Lyons and Stewart, along with their families, were honored prior to the start of the game.