February 24, 2015



Providence, R.I.-Seniors Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) and Eric Alleyne (Watertown, MA) each scored 13 points to lead the second-seeded Rhode Island College to a hard fought, 66-62, victory over the seventh-seeded Plymouth State Panthers in the opening round of the Little East Menís Basketball Tournament on Tuesday night at The Murray Center.


With the win, the Anchormen (19-7) advance to the semifinals of the Little East Tournament and will face third-seeded UMass Dartmouth at Eastern Connecticut on Friday. The Corsairs advanced with a 98-92 win over sixth-seeded UMass Boston tonight. RIC and UMD split the season series with each club winning on their home court.




The Anchormen held a 10-2 advantage with 14:51 left in the half following a layup from Burton. The Panthers (7-19) rebounded to cut the deficit to three, 14-11, on a layup by junior forward Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, MA) with 9:09 left in the first half. The Anchormenís lead increased to 11 points down the stretch, but a late, 4-0, run by PSU cut the RIC lead to seven, 24-17, at the half.


The Panthers trimmed the lead down in the early stages of the second half to finally take a 35-34 lead with 12:48 to play following a layup by freshman guard Brian Boulay (Keene, NH).


The Anchormen remained unfazed, with a pair of free throws by Burton increasing the advantage to 11, 54-43, with 2:43 left in the half. The lead grew to as large as 12, but the Panthers continued battling, trimming the RIC advantage down to three following a Boulay trey with 10 seconds left. Alleyne salted the game away with a free throw.


The Panthers were led by Nwokejiís double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds), while Boulay scored 13 off the bench. The Panthers shot 42.0 percent (21-for-50) from the field, 18.2 percent (2-for-11) from behind the three-point arc and 72.0 percent (18-for-25) from the charity stripe.


RIC senior center Victor Smith (Providence, RI) scored all 12 of his points in the second half, while junior forward Patrick Matthews (Waipahu, HI) chipped in 10 points. RIC shot 40.7 percent (22-for-54) from the field, 16.7 percent (2-for-12) from downtown and 74.1 percent (20-for-27) from the charity stripe.