November 21, 2013



Providence, R.I.-Junior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) exploded for 15 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists and four steals, but it wasn’t enough for the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team, as the Anchormen fell to Lasell College, 98-94, in overtime on Thursday night at The Murray Center in non-conference action. 


Senior guard Brandon Ganesh (West Palm Beach, FL) racked up a game-high 32 points in the win for Lasell (1-2) to go along with five rebounds, five steals and four assists, while sophomore forward Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) finished with 14 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, two blocks and two assists. The Lasers couldn’t miss on Thursday, as they shot a whopping 49 percent (31-for-63) from the floor in the victory, including a 50 percent (11-for-22) shooting effort in the second half and a 67 percent (4-for-6) clip in overtime.



 Junior forward Chris Burton


For Rhode Island College (1-2), senior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) posted his second career double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and a pair of blocks to help pace the squad, while freshman guard Austin Cilley (Westerly, RI) poured in a team-high 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) added 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the loss.


“We just don’t compete hard enough to win games,” Head Coach Bob Walsh said. “It’s embarrassing and it’s my fault. We’ve built a championship program here based on how hard we compete and right now we’re not doing it.”


The two teams traded baskets through the first few minutes of action before the Lasers began to pull away from the hosts in their home opener. After nursing a steady single-digit lead throughout much of the first frame, a 9-2 run over the final 3:18 of the half sent Lasell into the intermission with a 41-31 lead. The Anchormen got off to an extremely slow start in the first stanza, shooting just 24 percent (9-for-37) from the field and committing 11 first half turnovers, while Lasell shot at  a cool 46 percent (16-for-35) clip through the first 20 minutes.


The visitors led by as many as 11 through the first 10 minutes of the second half before Rhode Island College finally managed to snap out of its slump. Trailing, 62-54, with just under nine minutes to play, DeCiantis buried a pair of three-pointers to cut the deficit to two. After the Lasers jumped back ahead of the hosts by seven, 69-62, with 6:05 on the clock, the Anchormen responded with an 8-0 run to regain the lead, 70-69, thanks to a three-pointer from Sanders with 4:47 remaining.


However, the resilient Lasers bounced back to take the lead thanks to a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Richard O’Brien (Manchester, NH) on the other end of the floor and eventually upped their lead to five when Niba drained a three-pointer with 2:45 on the clock to make it, 78-73.



 Rhode Island College held Veterans Appreciation Day
with a special pre-game ceremony.


Yet, trailing by five, Cilley quickly responded for the Anchormen with a key three-pointer to pull the hosts within two, 78-76, with 2:27 left to play. After Ganesh connected on one of two free throws for the Lasers on the ensuing possession, Cilley sank another clutch trey to tie the game at 79 with 2:03 on the clock.


Although each squad had their share of opportunities down the stretch, the two teams combined to miss four field goals and two free throws through the final two minutes, sending the game into overtime knotted at 79.


Despite the best efforts of the Anchormen, Lasell gained a full head of steam early in overtime and never looked back. Keyed by a pair of three-pointers from senior forward Sonny Mello (Fall River, MA) and Ganesh, the Lasers jumped ahead of the Anchormen by as many as eight points in the extra session and eventually came away with the, 98-94, victory.


Mello finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists for Lasell in the win, while O’Brien posted 13 points, three rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Jeremy Daniel (Bridgeport, CT) chipped in with 10 points and a game-high seven assists.


Junior center Victor Smith (Providence, RI) totaled 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for RIC, while sophomore center Mike Neal (Pawtucket, RI) added nine points and four boards.


The Anchormen outrebounded the Lasers, 51-44, and corralled 23 offensive rebounds as a team. RIC also held a 19-16 advantage in the turnover battle.


In total, RIC shot 39 percent (34-for-87) from the field, which included a 51 percent (20-for-39) mark in the second half. The Anchormen also shot 31 percent (10-for-32) from beyond the arc and 80 percent (16-for-20) from the free throw line.


The Lasers shot 45 percent (10-for-22) from downtown and 70 percent (26-for-37) from the charity stripe.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at Brandeis on Saturday, Nov. 23 (3 p.m.).