February 9, 2012


RIC Remains Unbeaten at Home With 11 Victories

Providence, R.I.-Senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds to help guide the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team past Bates College, 77-61, on Thursday night at The Murray Center in non-conference action.


Junior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) nearly finished with a triple-double, as the co-captain totaled 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to go along with two steals and two blocks. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) connected on five three-pointers, four of them in second half, en route to career-high 15 points.



 Senior center Mike Akinrola


“Michael Palumbo really stepped up and gave us a big boost tonight,” said Head Coach Bob Walsh. “Ethan Gaye also did a great job setting the tone on defense.”


RIC (17-5) continued to stay undefeated at home (11-0) with the victory. The Anchormen are still locked into fourth place (7-4 LEC) in the Little East Conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season.


Both teams traded punches through the first 20 minutes of the game with the Anchormen taking a 33-27 lead over Bates (11-11) at the break. RIC stormed out of the gate in the second half to take a 12-point, 43-31, lead with 15:17 on the clock behind four straight points from senior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI). However, the Bobcats responded with eight straight points over the next three minutes to make it, 43-39, with 12:57 left to play. That’s when Palumbo drained back-to-back threes in a matter of 20 seconds to put RIC back up by 10, 49-39, with 12:17 remaining.



 Junior guard Tahrike Carter


Bates kept chipping away at the deficit over the next few minutes, eventually cutting the margin to just one point on a basket from senior center John Squires (Swampscott, MA), making it 52-51, with 8:31 on the clock. Yet, that would prove to be the last gasp for the Bobcats, who were outscored, 17-6, over the final eight and a half minutes. Palumbo proved to be a huge part of RIC’s final run, as he buried two more treys down the stretch to help seal the victory, while Carter finished with seven of RIC’s final 17 points.


The Anchormen were aided by a strong effort on the glass, as they out-rebounded the visiting Bobcats, 43-33, and finished with 15 offensive rebounds. Rhode Island College shot 40 percent (23-for-57) from the floor, including 43 percent (9-for-21) from beyond the three-point arc, while going 22-for-31 (71 percent) from the free throw line.



 Sophomore guard Mike Palumbo


Meanwhile, Bates did most of their damage from the charity stripe where they shot 87 percent (20-for-23). However, the Bobcats shot just 35 percent (20-for-57) from the field, including a dismal 1-of-10 shooting effort from outside.


Squires posted a game-high 25 points to go along with eight boards and three steals to lead Bates in the loss. Junior center Ed Bogdanovich (Portland, ME) notched 13 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Mark Brust (Duxbury, MA) tallied eight points, five assists, three boards and two steals.


Choice recorded eight points (all in the second half) for the Anchormen, while also tallying five rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists. Sophomore guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) registered five points, with freshman forward Jacob Page (Brookline, MA) adding four points off the bench. Sophomore guard Ethan Gaye (Providence, RI) received high praise following the game for this standout defensive play.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will resume Little East Conference action at Southern Maine on Saturday, Feb. 11 (3 p.m.).