February 6, 2010






Providence, RIóJunior guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) returned to the court after missing nearly two months and 10 games to lead the Rhode Island College menís basketball team past Little East Conference rival Keene State, 95-90, on Saturday afternoon at The Murray Center.






 Junior guard Antone Gray




Gray scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half to help the Anchormen erase an 11-point deficit over the final 5:44 of the game. He shot 8-for-11 from the field, drained 3-of-4 from downtown, was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists in the win.




RIC stays in sole possession of first place in the Little East with a 14-7 overall record and 8-2 mark in league play. The Owls see their record dip to 12-9 on the season to go along with a 5-5 mark in the LEC.



The Anchormen have won eight of their last nine meeting with Keene State and sweep the season series.



With 4:05 left in regulation, Keene State sophomore forward Cody Snow (Leyden, MA) drained a jump shot to give the Owls a nine-point, 87-78, cushion. The RIC defense, which struggled for most of the game, finally clamped down and forced five consecutive stops. The offense converted nine straight, eight of which were scored by Gray, on the other end to tie the game, 87-87, with 1:39 left.




Snow was fouled and made two free throws to make the score 89-87 with 1:08 left. Gray came right back and connected on a three to give RIC its first lead since late in the first half. Keene State sophomore forward Derek DíAmours (Agawam, MA) had his baseline layup attempt emphatically rejected by senior guard Jake Grimes (Providence, RI). Sophomore forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit both of his free throw shots to put the Anchormen up, 92-89, with 24 seconds left to go.




While the Owls were bringing the ball up the court, freshman guard Drew Rolfe (Berlin, MA) was fouled on a hotly disputed play while setting a pick. He missed his first free throw attempt, but made the second. Gray was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and made both of his attempts from the charity stripe. With Keene State trailing by four with 11 seconds left, the Owls turned the ball over. A Grimes free throw helped seal the win.




Grimes keyed the RIC offense for most of the first half, finishing with 27 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Sophomore forward Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) chipped in with 13 points and five boards. Choice registered 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.




DíAmours was white hot for the majority of the game, shooting 12-of-19 from the field, which included six three-pointers, to finish with 30 points. Snow posted 14 points, to go along with game-highs of eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks.



In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play when the Anchormen host Western Connecticut on Tuesday, Feb. 9.