November 15, 2010


Hawks Spoil RIC's Home Opener

Providence, RI-Senior guard DJ Exum (New London, CT) scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Becker College men’s basketball team past Rhode Island College, 67-53, in both clubs’ season-opener played at The Murray Center.


Becker (1-0) only trailed for 23 seconds in the win, as four Hawks scored in double figures. Exum had seven points and seven turnovers in the first half, then scored 13 points without turning the ball over at all in the second stanza. He also made a game-high five steals and connected on 13-of-14, including nine-of-10 in the final period, from the free throw line.


Senior center Trae Jacobs (New Haven, CT) contributed 17 points and tied the game-high with nine rebounds. Junior guard Terrance Favors (Boston, MA) added 13 points and four steals, while senior forward Rajai Leggett (New Haven, CT) pitched in with 10 points and five rebounds.



 Junior forward Mason Choice


Junior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) led the hosts with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) finished one board shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds to go along with two blocks.


“It was a really disappointing loss,” RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. “Becker came in and took the game to us and we didn’t respond. We need to figure out how to execute at a higher level of intensity and toughness.”


Becker opened the game on a 14-2 run over the first 3:45. After a timeout, RIC countered with a 10-2 run to pull within four points, 16-12, at 10:57 keyed by a senior forward Darius Debnam (Dorchester, MA) three-pointer.


The Hawks built an eight-point advantage, 26-18, at 4:36 capped by a Leggett layup. The Anchormen cut the deficit back down to six, only to see Becker go back up by 10, 30-20, with 1:38 left. RIC sophomore guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) made a jump shot for the half’s final bucket as the visitors went into halftime with a 30-22 lead.


RIC shot just 25 percent (9-for-36) and made just one-of-12 from three-point land over the first 20 minutes. Although Becker turned the ball over 13 times, the Hawks shot 52 percent (11-for-21) from the floor to hold the advantage.


The Anchormen stormed out of the gates in the second half, erupting for the frame’s first eight points to tie the game, 30-30, keyed by four points by Choice and the game-tying bucket by Akinrola.


Becker built the lead back up on a five-point run, only to see RIC come right back to tie the game, 35-all, on a junior guard Keith Hamilton (Queens Village, NY) trey.


Once again the visitors went ahead, 39-35, on Jacobs and Favors layups. Senior guard Nick Manson (Newport, RI) gave RIC its only lead, 41-39, on a three-pointer with 7:01 left.


The lead was short-lived as the visitors rattled off six points in just 55 seconds. Akinrola gave RIC one last chance on a three-pointer with 3:16 left to cut the deficit to two, 50-48. Becker then went on an 8-0 run to seal the game, keyed by six points and two steals by Exum.


For the game, the Hawks shot 51 percent (23-of-45) and made 17 steals. Becker shot 63 percent from the line (19-of-30)  and made 13-of-19 in the second half. RIC shot 33 percent (20-of-60) and made just 5-of-23 from downtown. The hosts turned the ball over 24 times.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Clark on Wednesday, Nov. 17.