December 6, 2011


Anchormen Tie í89-90 Squad With 8-0 Start

Providence, R.I.-Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) totaled 19 points and five rebounds as the Rhode Island College menís basketball team knocked off Salve Regina, 69-55, at The Murray Center on Tuesday night.


The Anchormen used their size advantage to come away with a definitive edge on the boards, as they out-rebounded the Seahawks (4-3), 42-29, and corralled 18 offensive rebounds en route to their sixth double-digit victory of the year. Rhode Island College also outscored Salve Regina in the paint, 46-22.



 Senior center Mike Akinrola


With the win, the Anchormen improved to 8-0 for the first time since the 1989-1990 season. "We came out really focused and played a great first half with our defense leading the way," Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "We let our guard down after halftime, which was disappointing, but overall we got contributions from a lot of guys which was great to see."


Salve Regina jumped out to its only lead of the game with 19:35 left in the first half, after freshman guard Brendan Canova (Edina, MN) nailed a jumper to give the Seahawks a 2-0 lead. However, the Anchormen immediately responded to take the lead and began to pull away thanks to a hot-shooting effort from the floor, as they shot 56 percent from the field in the first frame.


Leading by 11, 29-18, with 6:43 on the clock, RIC rattled off eight straight points to take a 19-point lead, its largest of the game. A fast-break layup from senior guard Keith Hamilton (Queens Village, NY) capped off the run and made it, 37-18, RIC with 2:14 remaining in the half. The Anchormen eventually went into the intermission with a 42-24 lead, thanks to a balanced offensive effort that featured 11 different scorers.



 Junior center Steven Roberts


Both teams increased their defensive intensity to open the second half as the first field goal wasnít scored until the 17:25 mark after a basket from sophomore forward Joshua Hohlfelder (Noank, CT) made it, 42-27. Hohlfelder caught fire to open up the second stanza for Salve, scoring 10 points through the first six minutes. The Seahawks outscored the Anchormen, 16-4, during this span, and cut the deficit to just six with 14:04 left to play after sophomore guard Patrick Dinneen (Medfield, MA) buried a free-throw, making it 46-40.


However, that was the closest the Seahawks came in this one as a layup from junior center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) immediately put RIC back on top by 11, 51-40. A jumper from junior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) stretched the lead to 13 with 11:58 left to play and Salve Regina was unable to trim the deficit to single-digits for the remainder of the contest.


Rhode Island College overcame their shooting woes in the second half to escape with the victory over its cross-state rivals. In total, the Anchormen shot 44 percent from the floor, despite connecting on just 29 percent of their shots in the final 20 minutes. RIC also struggled mightily from the free throw line, going just 11-for-21 from the stripe. Neither team could buy a basket from the outside, going a combined 3-for-29 from beyond the three-point arc.


Carter finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Anchormen, while DeCiantis added eight points of his own. Roberts, who had missed the previous six games with a hand injury, returned to the lineup to post eight points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks. Junior guard Ethan Gaye (Providence, RI) added seven points, five rebounds and two steals, while freshman forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) chipped in with four points and five rebounds.


Graduate guard Ryan Birrell (Scituate, RI) led the Seahawks with 14 points and six boards in the loss. Hohlfelder added 12 points and four rebounds, while Dinneen and Canova each notched seven points. Sophomore guard Isiah Pringle (Queens, NY) finished with five points, while sophomore forward Jeff Bielefeld (Littleton, MA) contributed four points and six rebounds.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host WPI on Thursday, Dec. 8 (7 p.m.).