November 23, 2010


Choice’s Free Throws Help RIC to Tame Bears, 62-61

Providence, RI-Junior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left in regulation to lift the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team to a 62-61 win over Bridgewater State on Tuesday evening at The Murray Center in a battle of two of the top teams in New England.


The Anchormen (3-1) found themselves trailing by a point, 61-60, with 22 seconds left before regaining possession after a Bear turnover. After getting the ball over halfcourt, Choice drove strong to the hoop and was fouled to set up the late game heroics.



 Junior forward Mason Choice


The Bears (2-2) had the ball with three seconds left and senior guard Corey Connor (Providence, RI) drove baseline and dished the ball to senior center Samuel Johnson (New Bedford, MA) who was wide open underneath the RIC basket. Johnson’s layup attempt rimmed out as time expired.      


RIC senior guard Nick Manson (Newport, RI) had the hot hand on the night, scoring a team-high 20 points on seven of 14 shooting and knocking down four of the squad’s five three-pointers. Choice finished with 18 points and freshman guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.



 Senior guard Nick Manson


 "We held a team that averaged 91 points per game to 61 points," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "It was our defensive effort and toughness that won this game for us."


The Anchormen held a 40-25 advantage in rebounding with 19 of them coming on the offensive glass.


Connor had 21 points and drained five of six from downtown. Former Anchorman and Bear sophomore Anthony Fortes (East Providence, RI) had 15 points, all of which came in the first half, in his first action against his old club.


Bridgewater posted the game’s largest lead of the night at 18-9 with 9:56 left in the first half. RIC then went on an 11-0 run to take a 20-18 advantage in just 3:07, capped by a freshman center Ashton Watkins (Providence, RI) layup at 6:49.


The visitors continued to build small leads, only to see RIC come back and tie the game. BSU held a four-point lead, 33-29, after a Connor three-pointer with 55 seconds left. A steal by sophomore William Williams (Bronx, NY) and then a sweet dish to sophomore center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) for a dunk sent both clubs into the half tied up, 33-33.


Connor scored seven points in a row for the Bears in a 7-2 run to give BSU a 44-39 lead with 15:12 remaining in the second half. It would prove to be the largest lead for either team in final half.


It took 2:39 for RIC to tie the game, and a trey from Manson put the two squads in a 46-all deadlock.  BSU built another four-point lead, 50-46, at the 9:09 mark, but Manson capped a 6-0 run with another longball to give the Anchormen a 52-50 lead.


Neither team held more than a three-point lead over the final four minutes.


With RIC down, 59-58, with 1:36 left, Choice sank two free throws to put the hosts on top by one. Senior forward Nicholas Motta (Fairhaven, MA) hit a running layup with 1:16 left to give BSU its final lead of the night.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at Johnson & Wales on Tuesday, Nov. 30.