November 19, 2011


Choice Scores 16 Second-Half Points as RIC Raises its Record to 3-0

Providence, R.I.- Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) posted a game-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds, while senior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, as the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team knocked off Lasell College, 72-69, on Saturday at The Murray Center.


Junior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) notched 10 points and 10 rebounds for his second career double-double, while sophomore Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) added nine points and four rebounds. Junior guard Ethan Gaye (Providence, RI) contributed with eight points, six rebounds and three assists in the victory.



 Sophomore guard Tahrike Carter


The win marks the first 3-0 start for the Anchormen since the 2007-2008 season in which they also opened up the campaign with three straight victories.


“We made enough plays to win, so I’m happy with the result,” said Head Coach Bob Walsh after the game. “But we weren’t ready to defend and that is unacceptable.”


With Lasell (1-2) holding onto a three point lead with six minutes remaining in regulation, RIC (3-0) pulled within one after a layup from Carter made it, 60-59. Choice buried a pair of free throws with 4:52 on the clock to give the Anchormen a one point lead, but senior forward Javon Williams (Mattapan, MA) responded to put the Lasers back on top, 62-61, with 4:36 left to play.


The Anchormen answered on a bucket from Choice to put RIC back in the lead, 63-62. Carter then put his team up by three with one of the biggest plays of the game, as he corralled his own rebound on a missed attempt in the paint and finished with the putback to make it, 65-62, with 3:13 remaining.



 Senior forward Mason Choice


Both offenses fell silent for the next two and a half minutes, until junior guard Arthur Alexander (Port St. Lucie, FL) trimmed RIC’s lead to just two points with a single free throw with 1:35 left to play. However, the Anchormen responded in the clutch as DeCiantis drained a three-pointer from the baseline with 36 seconds on the clock to give RIC a 68-63 lead. With the game on the line, the Anchormen showed some mettle from the free throw line, going 4-for-6 from the charity stripe over the final 30 seconds to put away the Lasers.


The two squads opened the first half neck-and-neck, as the Anchormen and Lasers were deadlocked, 8-8, with 16:25 remaining in the first half. Senior guard Nate DiSessa (Westfield, MA) buried a three to give Lasell its first lead of the game.


Trailing, 11-8, with 15:34 left in the first stanza, Rhode Island College rattled off 14 unanswered points to take a 22-11 lead. However, the Lasers clawed their way back into the ballgame, trimming the deficit to just one after a three-ball from junior forward Sonny Mello (Fall River, MA) made it, 25-24, RIC with seven minutes remaining. The Anchormen gained some separation from the Lasers in the waning minutes of the first frame and went into the half on top, 42-36.



 Senior center Mike Akinrola


After shooting 65 percent from the floor in the first frame, the Anchormen cooled down significantly in the second half. Rhode Island College held on to the lead throughout much of the second half, until the Lasers went on a run around the seven-minute marker. After  junior guard Sean Bertanza (Seymore, CT) knocked down a mid-range jumper and tied the game at 57, a sequence of RIC turnovers led to a one-handed slam from Williams and a single free throw from freshman center Frank Apisa (Branchburgh, NJ) that gave the Lasers a 60-57 lead prior to the hosts taking the game over.


The Anchormen dominated the glass, outrebounding the Lasers, 39-28. However, RIC lost the turnover battle, 21-16.


Bertanza led the Lasers with 17 points, while Mello added 16 points and seven rebounds. Williams tallied 14 points and four boards, with DiSessa chipping in with eight points and a game-high seven assists. Sophomore guard Brandon Ganesh (Wellington, FL) posted eight points.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Bridgewater State on Tuesday, Nov. 22  (7:30 p.m.).