January 21, 2012



RIC Stays Tied for Third Place in Little East Standings

Providence, R.I.-Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) posted a game-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds as the Rhode Island College menís basketball team topped the Plymouth State Panthers, 61-43, in Little East Conference action on Saturday at The Murray Center.


ďOur defense really set the tone in the first half, giving up just two points in the first 10 minutes,Ē said Head Coach Bob Walsh. ďA lot of different guys stepped up today like Mike Palumbo, Randy Casey and Chris Burton.  Itís great to see our depth become a factor.Ē



 Senior center Mike Akinrola


Rhode Island College (14-2, 5-2 LEC) opened the game on a 17-0 run, capped off by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI), who made his first start of the season for the Anchormen. After senior guard Brian Chergey (Bow, NH) snapped the skid with a mid-range jumper, Palumbo drained another trey on the ensuing possession to put RIC up, 20-2, with 11:36 left to play in the half. With 10:16 on the clock, Akinrola followed that with a three of his own, extending RICís lead to 21, its largest of the game.


Plymouth State (5-10, 1-6 LEC) slowly bounced back down the stretch in the first half, cutting the lead to nine on a three-pointer by senior guard Ben Higgins (Rochester, NY) with 5:13 left to play in the frame. Chergey then trimmed the deficit to seven with a jumper to make it, 27-20.



 Sophomore guard Mike Palumbo


However, the Anchormen responded with a three from Palumbo and a pair of baskets from Akinrola and freshman forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) to take a 34-23 lead into the intermission. Although they stayed within striking distance throughout the entirety of the second half, the Panthers were unable to overcome the double-digit deficit and eventually fell to the Anchormen by 18.


RIC held PSU to just 36 percent shooting from the floor, while connecting on 49 percent of its shots offensively. The Anchormen also benefited on the offensive end from great ball movement, as they dished out 17 assists on 23 field goals.


Senior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) scored 11 points to go along with four assists to help guide the hosts, while Palumbo chipped in with a career-high 10 points. Burton added seven points, six rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Randy Casey (Attleboro, MA) finished with four points, four boards, three assists and two steals.



 Athletic Hall of Famer Ray Huelbig '72 was the Honorary Captain for tonight's game.


Chergey led PSU with 12 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Higgins tallied nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Sophomore center Mark MacGregor (Rochester, NH) notched eight points and three boards in the loss.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play at Western Connecticut on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m.).