December 4, 2010



Providence, RI-Junior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) drained a half-court desperation three-pointer at the buzzer to snap a tie and lift the Rhode Island College menís basketball team to a 52-49 win over Eastern Connecticut in the Little East Conference opener for both clubs on Saturday afternoon at The Murray Center.



 Junior forward Mason Choice


RIC (5-1, 1-0 LEC) battled back from a seven-point deficit over the final six minutes to set up Choiceís heroics.


With the game tied, 49-all, Eastern Connecticut junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) missed a highly-contested layup attempt with 2.1 seconds left. RIC sophomore guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, CT) grabbed the rebound and the Anchormen called a timeout.


Senior guard Nick Manson (Newport, RI) inbounded the ball to Choice along the sideline. He took several dribbles and launched a line drive shot as he crossed over halfcourt. The ball swished through the hoop to stun the visitors and send The Murray Center crowd into a frenzy.


 "Our defense and our toughness carried us today," RIC head Coach Bob Walsh said. "To hold a team in our league to 49 points is unreal. Obviously we were very lucky to win on a halfcourt shot, but I'm happy with the way we defended."


Choice led all scorers with 15 points to go along with five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Senior forward Carl Lee (Warwick, RI) posted 12 points on six-for-11 shooting, three boards and equaled Choice with a game-high four swipes. Manson had 12 points and four boards. Junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) contributed six points and seven rebounds.


Nedwick led the Warriors (4-2, 0-1 LEC) with 11 points and three steals. Senior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor, CT) chipped in with nine points and seven boards.


The Anchormen held the lead for much of the first half, building a seven-point, 18-11, cushion with 7:42 left as baskets were hard to come by. The Warriors cut it down to two points, 19-17, on a sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville, NY) three-pointer at 1:15 to end the first stanzaís scoring.


RIC shot 23 percent (seven-for-31) from the field and 17 percent (two-for-12) from three-point land over the first 20 minutes. Eastern didnít fair much better, shooting 29 percent (seven-for-24) and 25 percent (two-for-eight). The hosts held a slight advantage, 23-18, on the glass.


The second half saw ECSU senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk, CT) sink a layup at 16:00 to put the visitors in control, 27-25. The Warriors embarked on a 6-0 run to build an eight-point lead at the 14:07 mark. RIC cut the deficit down to two points, only to see Eastern go back up by eight once again.


A Manson jumper brought RIC within two points, 49-47, at 2:38 and two Akinrola free throws at 1:33 tied the game.



 Senior forward Carl Lee


A fine defensive effort foiled an Eastern Connecticut scoring opportunity with 58 second left. The Warriors could not get an open look and junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia, CT) was forced to drive to the basket. Lee blocked his layup attempt with one tick left on the shot clock. Nedwick was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass, but missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw.


RIC sophomore center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) grabbed the rebound and RIC looked for the go-ahead bucket. Choiceís jumper with 36 seconds left was off the mark and Roberts missed the follow-up chance prior to last second fireworks.


For the game, the Anchormen shot 35 percent (19-for-55) from the field, 28 percent (five-for-18) from three-point land and held a slight advantage, 39-35, on the glass. Eastern Connecticut shot 36 percent (20-for-55) and 44 percent (seven-for-16).



 Former Rhode Island College student-athletes from the 1950's and 1960's were honored prior to the opening tip


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at Salve Regina on Tuesday, Dec. 7.