December 3, 2011



Plymouth, N.H.-Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) poured in a career-high 29 points and collected 12 rebounds Saturday afternoon, leading Rhode Island College to a 65-51 victory over Plymouth State University in the Little East Conference menís basketball opener for both schools played at Foley Gym.


Akinrola and classmate forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) accounted for 43 of RICís 65 points, as Choice finished with 14 points. Akinrola made 13-of-21 shots from the field, while Choice converted 6-of-8 field goal attempts. RIC, the two-time defending conference champions and preseason favorites this year, improves to 7-0 on the season while PSU drops to 2-4.


"Our size and athleticism really affected Plymouth State and our defense was able to hold them to 31 percent shooting and 51 points," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. When you do that, you should win. We weren't very efficient on offense and need to get a lot better, but Mike Akinrola was a monster on that end.



 Senior center Mike Akinrola


The Panthers were led by senior Jesse Sabolis (Stoughton, MA) and junior Matt Cloutier (Milton, NH), who scored nine points apiece, with each making a pair of three-point baskets.


Upset-minded PSU kept the game close in the first half.  RIC pulled away to an 11-point lead, 27-16, but PSU rattled off 10 straight points, capped by a three-pointer by senior Brian Chergey (Bow, NH), cutting the margin to one. Choice added a hoop to give RIC a three-point margin, 29-26 at the break.



 Senior forward Mason Choice


It was a six-point RIC lead early in the second half when the Anchormen went on a 10-1 spurt to get the lead up to 15 points, 47-32, with 12 minutes remaining.  PSU could get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.


 A big key in the game was rebounding, where the visitors had a whopping 55-26 advantage.


 In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host Salve Regina on Tuesday, Dec. 6 (7:30 p.m.).