February 5, 2011


RIC Earns Key Conference Win
at Keene State

Keene, N.H.óJunior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) scored 13 points, which included nine-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, and dished out six assists as the Rhode Island College men's basketball team defeated Keene State for the sixth straight time with a 78-69 Little East Conference win at Spaulding Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.


The Anchormen (13-7, 7-3 LEC) remain tied in second place with Eastern Connecticut (14-6, 7-3 LEC), but hold the tiebreaker by virtue of RIC's season-sweep of the Warriors. The Owls (14-7, 6-4), who began the day tied with RIC and ECSU, drop to sole possession of fourth place. The Anchormen have gotten the better of KSC in 10 of the two squad's last 11 meetings.



 Junior forward Mason Choice


 In addition to Choice's efforts, three additional Anchormen reached double figures in points. Junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) led RIC with 14 points on an efficient six-for-seven shooting day.


Senior guard Antone Gray (Providence, RI) equaled Choice's team-high assist total and contributed 11 points. Senior shooting guard Nick Manson (Newport, RI) notched a team-high three steals, drained three trifectas and matched Gray's offensive numbers.


 RIC shot 51 percent (26-for-51) from the field and made 20-of-27 (74 percent from the line. Manson helped RIC's three-point shooting, which was at 38 percent (6-for-16).


 Keene State sophomore guard Ryan Martin (Wayne, ME) led all scorers with an 18-point effort. The Owls were hurt by their three-point shooting, making just two of their long range shots in 16 attempts (13 percent). KSC also made the most of its opportunities from the charity stripe, knocking down 15-of-18 (83 percent).


The Owls held a slight edge in rebounding, 37-33. 


 In an up-and-down first half, junior Steve Boudreau (North Andover, MA) gave the Owls a 23-17 lead with a backdoor layup at the 7:22 mark. Coming off the bench, freshman forward Montel Walcott (New Haven, CT) gave KSC its biggest lead of the half, 35-25, hitting a layup with 4:20 to go.


 RIC scored the last 10 points of the half to knot the score at 35-all at the break. Choice scored four of the Anchormenís points, all from the line, during the run. KSC missed all nine of its three-point attempts in the first half.     


 The Anchormen pulled away from the Owls midway in the second half.  Four straight points by Akinrola made it a nine point margin, 61-52, with 9:49 to go.  


 A jump hook by sophomore Rashad Wright (Agawam, MA) cut RICís lead to five points, 63-58, with 7:14 to play. RIC came right back, taking a 10 point lead on a top-of-the-key three-pointer by Manson with 4:45 to play.   


 KSC made one last run at the Anchormen. Following a steal, junior Ollie Hunter (Bedford, NH) hit a driving layup to make it 70-64. However, Mason knocked down a pair of free throw to put RIC up, 72-64, with 1:34 to play.  An off-balanced three-pointer by junior Derek DíAmours (Agawam, MA) made it 72-67, but the Owls couldnít close the gap. Gray hit four free throws, his last pair with 20 seconds to go, to put RIC up, 76-69.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play at first place Western Connecticut on Tuesday, Feb. 8.