November 10, 2009



Kingston, R.I.The University of Rhode Island downed Rhode Island College, 101-76, in an exhibition contest played at the Ryan Center on Tuesday evening. It was the second year in a row the two Ocean State institutions met in preseason action.


Senior guard Jake Grimes (Providence, RI), who played in the exhibition game vs. RIC a year ago when he was with the Rams, led the Anchormen with 16 points. Junior guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI), classmate forward Carl Lee (Providence, RI) and freshman forward Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) each had 10 points. Gray dished out nine assists.



 Senior guard Jake Grimes


"We competed really hard," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. "After the first four to eight minutes, where I thought the moment and their pressure got us out of our rhythm, I thought we responded really well. We came out in the second half and played them relatively even. It was a great night for us and a good learning experience." 


"It's always good coming back to play against your old teammates," Grimes said. "Overall, we competed hard and that's all you can ask for."


 The Rams, who never trailed in the game, opened the contest on a 6-0 run, before junior forward Darius Debnam (Dorchester, MA) cut the deficit in half with a layup and foul shot. URI increased its advantage to 18-8  by going on a 12-5 run before a timeout with 14:32 remaining. Rhody was able to fend off the Anchormen through the first 5:28, outrebounding the visitors, 13-1, and knocking down six second chance points. Senior forward Lamonte Ulmer (New Haven, CT) paced the spurt with eight points, while classmate guard Keith Cothran (New Haven, CT) chipped in with six points.



 The Anchormen as they took to the floor for the National Anthem


 RIC closed the gap to eight points, 30-22, with 6:34 left in the first stanza, led by eight points from Grimes, who nailed two three-pointers, and a bucket by Roberts.


URI Head Coach Jim Baron called a timeout and the hosts responded with four quick points to increase the advantage back to double-digits, 34-22 at the 5:00 mark. The two squads traded five points apiece as a Roberts layup and a three-ball by freshman guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) kept RIC within 12, 39-27, at the 3:10 mark.


 A foul shot and a bucket put the Rams up by 15, but Grimes' answered back with his third trey of the first half. Rhody went up by 17 with 1:30 remaining as Cothran connected on a three-pointer and junior forward Delroy James (Brooklyn, NY) scored from in tight. James nailed a three from the corner with a minute left to increase URI's advantage to a half-high 20 points, 50-30. Grimes then sank a long two and James canned a jumper as the hosts went into halftime up, 52-32.


 Grimes led RIC with 13 points, while James, Cothran and Ulmer paced URI with 17, 14 and 13 points, respectively. The trio combined to shoot 20-for-29 from field in the first 20 minutes. Rhody outrebounded the Anchormen, 29-12, and scored 11 second chance points. Junior center Will Martell (Fair Haven, NJ) grabbed eight rebounds, while Ulmer was one off his pace.


 The Rams outscored RIC, 11-9, over the first five minutes of the second half to keep the lead over 20 points, 63-42. Gray netted five points for the Anchormen during the stretch.



 Junior guard Antone Gray


 Back-to-back layups by Anchorman junior forward Carl Lee (Warwick, RI) cut the host's advantage to under 20, 65-46, with 13:37 left. After a RIC blocked shot, James followed his own miss with a rebound and dunk at 12:32 to make the score 67-46.


 URI continued to maintain a 20-plus point advantage as the half continued to wear down. A Gray floater with 9:12 left pulled RIC within 21, 74-53. A thunderous dunk by sophomore forward Orion Outerbridge (Boston, MA) and a block on the ensuing RIC possession helped the Rams secure a 25-point lead, 78-53, with 8:01 remaining.


 RIC continued to battle as sophomore forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) completed a three point play with a bucket and foul shot to make the score, 82-58, with 6:23 left.


A three-pointer by freshman forward Nikola Malesevic (Uzice, Serbia) gave Rhody its largest lead, 28 points, 93-65, with 3:38 left. Freshman guard Derek Libbey (Lincoln, ME) was hammered on a drive to the hoop, but made the shot and ensuing foul shot to make it 93-68 with 3:09 left.


 The Rams and Anchormen traded baskets down the stretch, as Libbey cashed in two long range threes in the final 1:30, to end the game.


 Cothran finished with a game-high 24 points, while James was one behind. Ulmer registered 16 points and nine rebounds.


 "We just wanted to stay focused," Gray said about the team's approach. "We competed hard for a group of new guys."


 Last season, URI defeated RIC, 109-69, in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs in an exhibition contest on Nov. 7, 2008.



 Walsh addresses the team during a timeout


 The Anchormen open the 2009-10 season at Springfield on Sunday, Nov. 15. "We need to be consistent on the defensive end and that's what we'll have to work on." Walsh said as his squad is set to begin the regular season this weekend.