February 16, 2014



Warwick, R.I.-The 2012-13 Rhode Island College menís basketball team received the Vin Cullen Award for Small College Achievement from Words Unlimited at the organizationís annual banquet held at the Radisson Airport Hotel.


 "When you look at the names of past award winners and realize that Words Unlimited has been around almost 70 years, you understand what a great honor this is," RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. "Our 2013 championship team was the toughest team I've ever coached and their will to win was unmatched. It's great for the players to be recognized like this."



Tom DeCiantis, Head Coach Bob Walsh & Michael Palumbo


RIC finished the season with a 26-4 overall record and a 13-1 mark in the Little East Conference. The Anchormen notched their seventh consecutive 20-win campaign and equaled the program record for single-season conference victories. RIC recorded its sixth Little East Conference Regular Season Championship in the last nine years and followed with its fifth Little East Conference Tournament Championship in the last nine years as well. 


The Anchormen clinched their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and drew a date with Hobart in the First Round of the 2013 NCAA Div. III Menís Basketball Tournament. In what proved to be a thrilling back and forth affair at The Murray Center on March 2, Rhode Island College narrowly escaped with a 62-59 overtime victory to advance to the round of 32. However, despite earning home-court advantage for a second straight weekend, RICís run came to a halt in the Second Round as Morrisville State knocked off the Anchormen, 66-61, in overtime on March 9.


After opening the season with an exhibition contest at Div. I Providence College on Nov. 3, RIC opened the regular season with seven straight victories. The early-season run was highlighted by a 68-44 thrashing of MIT at The Murray Center on Nov. 29. At the time, the Engineers were ranked No. 1 in the country. The Anchormen finally dropped their first contest of the season against perennial powerhouse WPI, 79-68, on Dec. 6 and returned home to face Eastern Connecticut, the defending LEC Champions, on Dec. 8. The Warriors shot 66 percent in the first half alone, en route to the, 76-68, victory over Rhode Island College to hand RIC its first conference loss and its first losing streak of the season.


However, the resilient Anchormen quickly rebounded with nine straight victories through the end of December and into January, including a thrilling 58-55 win at home against LEC rival Keene State. RIC capped off the run with a 60-50 win over Eastern Connecticut on the road to improve its record to 16-2. Rhode Island College finally slipped up again in a 74-65 loss to Amherst on Jan. 29, the eventual Div. III National Champion. Yet, the Anchormen bounced back with six straight victories to close out the regular season with a 22-3 record.


RIC entered the LEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and quickly dispatched eighth-seeded UMass Dartmouth, 62-58, in the First Round on Feb. 19 to earn homecourt advantage through the remainder of the tournament. The Anchormen followed with a 61-47 victory over fourth-seeded Southern Maine in the semifinals on Feb. 22 to advance to its seventh consecutive Little East Conference Tournament Championship game. In an action-packed thriller between two bitter LEC rivals, RIC took down third-seeded Keene State, 60-53, in the title game on Feb. 23 to earn its first Little East Conference Tournament Championship since 2011.


 Defense was the name of the game for the Anchormen. At the conclusion of its season, RIC ranked third nationally in both scoring defense (56.1 points per game) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.277), while ranking eighth in field goal percentage defense (.378). Furthermore, Rhode Island College held its opponents 55 points or less 17 times and held its opponents to 50 points or less on 10 different occasions.