November 30, 2012



Lewiston, Maine-Junior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) scored 19 points as the Rhode Island College men's basketball team outlasted Bates, 45-43, in a tightly contested defensive battle on Sunday afternoon.


The Anchormen stay unbeaten (4-0), while Bates (2-2) drops to .500.


"We showed a lot of toughness getting this win," Head Coach Bob Walsh said afterwards. "We really struggled on offense, but to hold Bates to 43 points and 30 percent shooting shows a lot of buy-in on the defensive end. We need to get a lot better, but we won this game because we guarded."



Junior guard Nyheem Sanders


The Anchormen shot only 32.7 percent from the field (17-for-52), but held Bates to a lower rate, at 29.8 percent (17-for-57). RIC outrebounded Bates, 44-36, and took advantage of Bates' 6-for-13 shooting from the free throw line (46.2 percent).


Sanders was the only player from each side to scor in double digits and connected on 3-of-5 from downtown. Sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) was a defensive force in the paint, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking four shots to go with six points. Burton keyed RIC's 26-18 advantage in points in the paint


Ed Bogdanovich led Bates with his third straight double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds), though he shot a season-low 5-for-14 from the field. Bogdanovich also had three blocked shots. Mark Brust added nine points, Luke Matarazzo led Bates with three assists and three steals and Mike Boornazian contributed six points and seven boards.


Sanders canned a three to open the game's scoring, but Derek Murphy evened the score with a three from the right wing for the first of four ties in the first half. Brust scored seven straight points for the Bobcats midway through the half, capped by a free throw after an intentional foul was called against RIC, which gave Bates a 12-9 lead with 8:00 left in the game. Sanders drove one-on-one and finished with a spinning layup, but Graham Safford answered seconds later with a three-pointer, assisted by Luke Matarazzo for a 17-13 Bates lead, the Bobcats' larges of the game.


 RIC senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) cut it to 17-15 with a layup, then answered a layup by Boornazian with a three to cut Bates' lead to 19-18.


 Following a Bogdanovich layup, junior guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) drove along the weakside baseline for a layup to cut it to 21-20 with 2:36 left in the period, and the teams traded misses in the subsequent two minutes before Carter finished off the period with layup with 22 seconds left, returning the lead to the Anchormen at 22-21 for halftime.


 RIC started out the second half with a free throw and a three by Sanders for a five-point advantage. But over the next five minutes, Bates outscored RIC 10-1. Bogdanovich's interior pass to Sean Cunningham for a layup got the run started, followed by a Matarazzo steal and a dunk by Bogdanovich on a feed by Brust. Bogdanovich then hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game back up at 26-26, then made 1-of-2 again on the next trip to regain the lead for Bates. The Anchormen missed six straight field goal attempts and turned the ball over three times in Bates' run, which was capped by a Brust jumper that put Bates ahead 31-27 with 13:04 left in regulation.


 Burton blocked a layup attempt by Bogdanovich on Bates' next trip down, and Sanders' layup at the other end narrowed the gap to two, while starting a run of 11 unanswered points by the Anchormen. Sophomore forward Alex Cruz's (East Hartford, CT) steal led to a three-point play for Sanders for a 32-31 RIC lead. Carter then made another key steal for RIC and Sanders fed Neal for a layup. A missed layup by Bates' Cunningham turned into a three-pointer at the other end for Sanders for a 37-31 RIC lead. As the clock ticked under the 8:00 mark, RIC's Carter was fouled by Bogdanovich and made one foul shot for a 38-31 Anchormen lead with 7:24 to go, the largest by either team for the whole game.


 Bates charged back with a final run of its own. Matarazzo made a fallaway jumper, then fed Billy Selmon for a three after an RIC turnover to slice the lead to 38-36. Selmon then made 1-of-2 free throws on Bates' next possession, missing the second, but Bogdanovich rebounded the miss, then made it 41-38 Bates with a bucket underneath, assisted by Safford.


 Sanders got the points back with another driving, spinning layup, but Matarazzo cleverly rebounded his own missed three and made the putback before RIC could react, for a 43-40 Bates lead with 3:28 to go.


Burton then scored back-to-back hoops for the Anchormen, first putting back his own miss, then converting a lob from Carter on an inbounds play from underneath the hoop for a 44-43 lead with 1:56 left to play. 


 Bates missed its last three field goal attempts, and two free throws as well, over the final 1:26, while RIC countered with one more point on a free throw by Carter to account for the final margin.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will host MIT at The Murray Center on Thursday, Nov. 29 (7:30 p.m.).