February 23, 2016



Gorham, Maine-Rhode Island College sophomore guard Malcolm Smith (Old Orchard Beach, ME) scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench to lead the No. 7-seeded Anchormen to a 64-63 upset of second-seeded Southern Maine, in quarterfinal action of the 2016 Little East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday evening.


The Anchormen (6-20) advance to face the winner of No. 3 Keene State vs. No. 6 Plymouth State.


USM (15-11) opened the game quickly, using a 16-6 run, capped by seven straight points by junior guard Zach Leal (York, ME), to take a 16-6 lead just 6:14 into the opening half.



 Sophomore guard Malcolm Smith


The Anchormen responded, with a layup from sophomore guard Chris Green (Taunton, MA) trimming the deficit to just two, 19-17, with 10:21 left in the first stanza. USM used an 8-2 run to take a 27-19 lead, but the Anchormen rebounded, using a 13-0 run, capped by a made jumper from freshman guard Jimmy Fritzson (Sharon, MA), to take a 32-27 lead with 2:28 left in the half. A pair of free throws by Leal made the score 32-31 RIC with 1:34 left, but a trey from Green and a layup from freshman forward Justin Campbell (New Haven, CT) would send the Anchormen into the halftime break with a 37-31 lead.


RIC shot 45.2 percent (14-for-31) from the field, while the Huskies shot 40.0 percent (10-for-25) from the floor.


USM wasted no time jumping back into the lead, using an 8-0 run over the opening 3:17 to take a 39-37 lead. The Huskies were able to maintain their lead, with a trifecta from senior guard Jose Nouchanthavong (Westbrook, ME) putting the Huskies up by four, 50-46, with 10:38 left to play.


The Anchormen battled back, with back-to-back threes from Smith putting the visitors ahead, 64-62, with just 2:30 remaining in the contest. USM junior forward Atencio Martin (Kittery, ME) made 1-of-2 free throws with eight seconds remaining to set up the game’s climactic finish. Following the missed front-end of a 1-and-1, USM raced up the court, calling a timeout with three seconds remaining in the game. The Huskies got the look they were looking for out of the timeout, but the 14-foot jumper clanged off the back rim to give RIC the 64-63 upset victory.


RIC shot 40.0 percent (22-for-55) from the field, 44.4 percent (8-for-18) from three-point range and 80.0 percent (12-for-15) from the charity stripe. Green led the way with 18 points, with Fritzson tossing in 14 points to go along with five rebounds. Campbell scored 13 and Smith notched 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench.


USM shot 34.4 percent (21-for-61) from the field, 29.0 percent (9-for-31) from downtown and 70.6 percent (12-for-17) from the charity stripe. Leal tied the game-high with 18 points to go along with six rebounds. Nouchanthavong scored 17 points, grabbed six boards and dished out six assists in the defeat.