January 12, 2010






Providence, RI—Junior guard Nick Manson (Newport, RI) posted career-highs with 13 points and seven rebounds to help lead the Rhode Island College men's basketball team past Southern Maine, 74-59, in Little East Conference action on Tuesday evening at The Murray Center.






Junior guard Nick Manson




Rhode Island College (9-4, 4-0) downs the Huskies for the 10th consecutive time and remains undefeated and in first place in league action. USM (2-12, 0-4) falls for the sixth straight time in the loss.




“We were strong enough defensively to grind out the win,” Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards.  “A lot guys have step up to play new roles and we’re really starting to put it together.”




The physical Huskies surprised the hosts by jumping out to an eight-point, 16-8, lead at 12:24 of the first half, capped by back-to-back layups by sophomore forward Leif O’Connell (Hodgdon, ME).




The Anchormen quickly came to life and ran off 14 straight points to go up by four, 22-18, at 4:48. Junior forward Carl Lee (Warwick, RI) had four points, while freshman guard Derek Libbey (Lincoln, ME) and junior forward Darius Debnam (Dorchester, MA) each nailed three-pointers during the outburst.




Another Libbey longball gave RIC a five-point advantage, 25-20, with 3:55 left, but USM junior forward Otis Smith (Altamonte Springs, FL) made a free throw and drained a three to help the visitors get back in the game. A Lee free throw with 1:11 left put RIC up by four, 30-26, but an O’Connell layup pulled the Huskies within two, 30-28, as the two clubs went into intermission.




It was a tight game for most of the second half. A layup and free throw by junior guard Cortez Isaac (Washington, DC) tied the game, 39-39, with 14:27 left in the contest. A Grimes three-pointer and three foul shots by sophomore forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) put RIC up by six, 45-39, at 10:25.




Southern Maine brought the deficit down to three points, 45-42, at 9:23 on an Isaac layup and free throw. Rhode Island College quickly built the lead up to 10 points, 52-42, over the next 1:50 to effectively put the game out of reach.


The Huskies continued to battle hard, but the Anchormen made their free throws to keep the visitors at bay.


Isaac and RIC senior guard Jake Grimes (Providence, RI) each scored a game-high 21 points. Smith contributed 13 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double.



 Senior guard Jake Grimes


Choice finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Lee chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Plymouth State on Saturday, Jan. 16.