November 22, 2011



Bridgewater, Mass.-Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) scored a game-high 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting, as the Rhode Island College men's basketball team knocked off Bridgewater State, 64-52, on Tuesday evening at the Tinsley Center.


The Anchormen (4-0) remain unbeaten on the season, while the loss drops Bridgewater State (2-2) to .500. The game was a matchup of two teams that have combined for eight NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in the last five years. The 4-0 start for RIC is the best beginning to a season since the 1989-90 edition opened the campaign with an 8-0 mark.


 "We guarded consistently and that carried us to a good road win," Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "We still have to learn to play 40 minutes, but we will take the result. Mike Akinrola was an All-American for us tonight."


RIC held a commanding 43-25 halftime lead thanks in large part to 22 first half points from Akinrola. The Anchormen shot 60 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, forced 11 turnovers and limited the hosts to just 30 percent (10-for-33) shooting. Akinrola finished one rebound shy (nine) of a double-double.


A sophomore guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) three-pointer to open the second half gave the visitors their largest lead of the game at 21 points (46-25). The Anchormen would maintain the double-digit lead the rest of the way.  Bridgewater would rally in the last stages of the second half but would get no closer than 10 points, despite holding the visitors to just 21 points in the final stanza.


Down by 14 points, 62-48, with under two minutes remaining, back-to-back Shawn Yard (Brockton, MA) layups closed the gap to  62-52.  Bridgewater, however, did not take advantage of four straight missed foul shots by the Anchormen as the Bears missed a pair of three-point attempts and another long jumper in the final minute and did not score again.


Senior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for RIC, while DeCiantis finished with 11 points, four boards, three assists and three steals.  The Anchormen shot 55 percent (27-for-49) from the floor for the game and assisted on 18 of their 27 made field goals.


Bridgewater was led by junior guard Anthony Fortes (Providence, RI) who scored 18 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists.  Yard finished with 10 points, four assists and three steals, while senior guard Corey Ryser (Tewksbury, MA) chipped in with 10 points.  Freshman forward Michael Lofton (Mansfield, MA) came off the bench to notch six points, six rebounds, a block and a steal in 15 minutes.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Brandeis on Sunday, Nov. 27 (2 p.m.).