December 5, 2009






Willimantic, CTJunior guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) scored a career-high 29 and netted five points in the final 1:12 to lead the Rhode Island College men's basketball team to a come from behind, 89-87, win over Eastern Connecticut in the Little East Conference opener for both teams at Geissler Gymnasium.




 Gray was 7-for-13 from the field and made all but one, 13-for-14, from the free throw line, to go along with four assists and a steal to help RIC (4-3, 1-0) stop a two-game losing streak and down the previously undefeated (5-1, 0-1) Warriors.




"We showed a lot of heart and guts in the last 10 minutes to steal a game we didn't deserve to win," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. "Our guys expect to win no matter what, and that is a good thing."


 Senior guard Jake Grimes (Providence, RI) was also an offensive force for the Anchormen, scoring a game-high 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, and swiping four steals on the defensive end.






 Junior guard Antone Gray




Sophomore forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) contributed 17 points and five boards to the victory.




Rhode Island College forced seven Eastern Connecticut State University turnovers over the final 2:46, wiping out a 10-point deficit and leading the visitors to a victory in the league opener for both clubs.




Eastern led by 17 four minutes into the second half,  and by 10 with three minutes left. Over the final 2:46, Rhode Island hit 4-of-8 shots and came up with five steals. Rhode Island College led only once in the second half, when  Gray  turned a steal and pass by Choice into the go-ahead bucket, 88-87, with 64 seconds left. With 14 seconds left, Gray missed a three-point field goal, but Choice came up with the rebound and Gray followed by sinking one of two free throws. A potential game-tying drive for the hosts in the lane bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.






 Senior guard Jake Grimes




Shooting 54.0 percent from the foul line this year, Rhode Island converted 25-of-29 in the win. Gray hit his first 12 attempts. The Anchormen have beaten Eastern Connecticut in 10 of their last 11 meeting.


RIC shot 44 percent (29-for-66) from the field, while the Warriors finished at 52 percent (33-for-62). Although Eastern outrebounded the Anchormen, 36-28, they finished with 21 turnovers. RIC committed only 10 turnovers, while swiping 12 steals.


Eastern Connecticut sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) was one of four Warriors scoring in double figures with a team-high 21 points. 


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host Salve Regina on Tuesday, Dec. 8.