February 15, 2014



Gorham, Maine-Senior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) racked up 20 points and nine rebounds, while classmate guard Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) added 11 points and a pair of steals, to help send the Rhode Island College menís basketball team to a 60-48 victory over the University of Southern Maine at Hill Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon in Little East Conference action. 


Rhode Island College (16-7, 10-2 LEC) was dominant on the glass against Southern Maine on Saturday, outrebounding the Huskies, 41-28, en route to its fourth straight victory overall and its fifth straight win in LEC play. With Saturdayís win, the Anchormen sealed the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament.


Junior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) compiled eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while classmate forward Victor Smith (Providence, RI) added eight points and five boards for the Anchormen, who went 20-for-29 (69 percent) at the free throw line in the win. Junior guard Eric Alleyne (Watertown, MA) dished out a game-high five assists to go along with five points and four rebounds. Freshman forward Terrance Tribble (White Plains, NY) chipped in with four points, four rebounds and three steals.


 "We were ready to guard and our defense carried us today," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "We were shorthanded with only nine healthy bodies dressed, and when that happens, if you defend, you still have a chance to win. It was nice to see Tom and Mike, two seniors, step up and make some shots." It was Walsh's 200th career victory.



 Senior guard Tom DeCiantis


On the other end, sophomore guard Sean Caddigan (Bethel, ME) scored a team-high 12 points off the bench to pace USM (6-17, 2-10 LEC), while senior guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, ME) tallied 11 points, six rebounds and three steals. Senior center Tyler Penney (Barnstead, NH) contributed eight points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks for the Huskies, who have dropped five straight games and 12 of their last 13 contests.


Rhode Island College scored the first eight points of the game and quickly jumped out to a 12-2 lead over the Huskies following a pair of free throws from DeCiantis at the 16:25 mark. The Anchormen eventually went on to lead by as many as 16 after freshman guard Anthony Williams (Waldorf, MD) buried a free throw with 5:35 on the clock to make it, 28-12, but watched USM rally to finish the first half on an 11-1 scoring run, capped off by back-to-back treys from Caddigan, en route to the six-point, 29-23, halftime deficit.


After Caddigan kicked off the second stanza with his third three-pointer of the ballgame and trimmed USMís deficit to three, the Huskies and Anchormen went on to exchange baskets early in the second half, allowing the hosts to stay within a single possession of the visitors. Yet, after sophomore forward Jacob Littlefield (Mechanic Falls, ME) sank a jumper with 10:36 left to play to once again cut the deficit to three, RIC bounced back with nine unanswered points to jump ahead by double digits with 6:52 on the clock.


Spearheaded by Caddiganís fourth trey of the game, USM halted its scoring drought and responded with a 9-2 scoring run to pull within make it, 50-45, with just 4:01 left to play. However, the Anchormen outscored the Huskies, 10-4, over the final four minutes of the game to send RIC to the 12-point victory.


RIC shot 38 percent (17-for-45) from the field and 43 percent (6-for-14) from beyond the three-point arc, while USM also shot 38 percent (19-for-50) from the floor and 40 percent (4-for-10) from downtown. The Huskies, however, connected on just 55 percent (6-for-11) of their free throw attempts.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College travels to UMass Dartmouth to face the Corsairs in Little East Conference action on Tuesday, Feb. 18 (7:30 p.m.).