December 6, 2012



Worcester, Mass.-No. 14 Rhode Island College saw its seven-game win streak to open the 2012-13 season come to an end against WPI, 79-68, on Thursday night. The Engineers raise their record to 9-0, while RIC falls to 7-1.


Junior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) scored a team-high 18 points and made six steals, while senior center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) fell one rebound short of a double-double with 12 points and nine boards in 19 minutes off the bench. Senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) had eight points, nine rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) notched 12 points.


 "We weren't ready to guard tonight, and when we don't guard we aren't very good," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "Give WPI credit, they outplayed us from tap to buzzer. We had brought it defensively every night this year, so tonight was extremely disappointing."



 Junior guard Nyheem Sanders


RIC shot 40 percent (27-for-67) from the field, 27 percent (5-for-19) from three-point land and 90 percent (9-for-1) from the free throw line. The Engineers countered by shooting 49 percent overall (27-for-55) and were a lethal 68 percent (13-for-19) from downtown and 80 percent (12-for-15) from the charity stripe.


RIC had its only leads of the game at 3-0 and 5-3 before Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) second trifecta of the game put the hosts ahead for good at 8-5.  The Engineers pushed its bulge to as many as 17 (34-17) before a 14-3 Anchormen spurt over the final 3:15 before intermission capped by a junior guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) 3-pointer right before the buzzer sliced the lead to 37-31 at the break.



The visitors scored the first four points of the second half, but a quick 9-0 WPI run pushed the advantage back to double digits where it remained until the waning moments.  The Anchormen clawed backed to six at 70-64 with 1:12 left but a Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) triple and a Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) layup secured the win for the Engineers. 


Karalis drained all four of his three-point attempts en route to pouring in a career-high 19 points.  Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) collected 15 points, Coppola added 14 and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) and Davis each chipped in with 13 and 12 respectively.   Davis, Coppola and Longwell all doled out five assists as the Engineers were credited with 21 assists on 27 made baskets.  


Kollb paced the Engineers effort on the glass with eight rebounds while Davis, who canned 4-of-5 trifectas, swiped four steals. 


The Anchormen controlled the paint, outrebounding the Engineers 42-28 and outscoring the hosts in the paint 30-16.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will resume Little East Conference action at home against Eastern Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 8 (3 p.m.). It will be a rematch of the 2012 LEC Tournament Championship game.