January 19, 2013



Plymouth, N.H.-Senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) scored 14 points, had eight rebounds and dished out three assists as Rhode Island College withstood a furious comeback attempt by the Plymouth State University menís basketball team and held on for a 57-54 win in a tough Little East Conference defensive battle at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.


RIC (14-2, 6-1 LEC) built up a 12-point lead, 55-43, with 2:40 to play after Randy Casey (Attleboro, MA) hit a jump shot, but the Panthers put together a 12-2 run down the stretch to make the contest interesting in the final minutes.


Plymouth State (3-13, 1-6 LEC) was led by junior Sheldon Benson (Pembroke, NH), who scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. 



Senior guard Tahrike Carter


Junior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, CT) started the rally with a drive to the hoop and sophomore Alex Burt (Dover, NH) followed with a layup and two free throws. Benson drained a three-point bomb that drew the Panthers to within three, 55-52, with one minute to play. PSU got the ball back with a four-point deficit, but could not connect on a three-pointer.  RIC sophomore guard Alex Cruz (East Hartford, CT) hit one of two from the line to extend the lead to five, 57-52, and Skevas hit a layup with two seconds left to account for the final score.


The Anchormen, who have won seven straight, came out of the gate strong, scoring the gameís first nine points. RIC was able to work its lead up to 10 points, 17-7, in the first session, but Benson hit on consecutive tries late in the half, one from behind the arc, drawing the Panthers to within six, 20-14.


A put-back by freshman Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, MA) got the Panthers even closer, 20-16, with 4:32 to play before the intermission. Two minutes later, Nwokeji hit another inside shot that brought PSU to within a point, 21-20, and after a pair of RIC free throws, a layup by sophomore Shomari Morgan (Manchester, NH) once again closed the gap to one, 23-22. Two free throws by sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) gave the visitors a slim three point margin heading into the locker room.


PSU dug itself into a hole early in the second half, getting outscored by the Anchormen 15-6 in the first seven minutes of the frame. The Panthers were only able to connect on one field goal during that stretch, but a Benson jumper with 11:10 left cut the RIC lead to eight, 40-32.


RIC was able to knock down 25-of-37 from the free throw line while outrebounding the Panthers 33-29. 


Carter and Cruz were the only Anchormen in double digits, scoring 14 and 12 points respectively.  Senior Ethan Gaye (Providence, RI) added eight points while Burton scored seven points and hauled down six rebounds. 


Skevas added 11 points for the Panthers, while Morgan chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play at home against Western Connecticut on Tuesday, Jan. 22 (7:30 p.m.).