January 25, 2017



Providence, R.I.--Junior guard Jovel Beckford (Providence, RI) scored a game-high 22 points and added nine rebounds to lead the Rhode Island College menís basketball team to an 83-68 victory against Western Connecticut in a Little East Conference contest played at The Murray Center on Wednesday evening.



 Junior guard Jovel Beckford


RIC (9-9, 3-5 LEC) junior guard Malcolm Smith (Old Orchard Beach, ME) tallied 14 points, three rebounds and two assists, while sophomore forward Benjamin Vezele (Providence, RI) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Roosevelt Shider (Meriden, CT) and sophomore forward Justin Campbell (New Haven, CT) were also in double figures with 10 points each for the Anchormen.


Western Connecticut (11-6, 3-5 LEC) was led by sophomore forward Jauch Green (Hartford, CT) with 21 points and eight boards, while sophomore forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) contributed 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.


After trading baskets throughout the early stages of the first half, RIC took its first double-digit lead of the evening on a layup from Campbell, making the score, 26-16, with 6:53 left in the frame. RIC led by as many as 16 points late in the stanza before taking a 44-29 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.


The Anchormen opened the second half on an 8-3 run, capped by a three-point play from Vezele just 1:40 into the second half, for a 52-32 advantage. Western Connecticut then used a 20-8 run and cut the lead down to single digits, 60-52, on a three-pointer from Rashard Rodriguez with 9:25 left in the contest. The Colonials closed the gap to seven points in the second half, but that would be as close as they would get as the Anchormen pulled away down the stretch for the important league victory.


RIC shot 41.0 percent (25-of-61) from the field, 40.0 percent (10-for-25) from behind the three-point stripe and 82.1 percent (23-of-28) from the free throw line. Western Connecticut shot 38.5 percent (25-of-65) from the field, 33.3 percent (8-of-24) from three-point land and 50.0 percent (10-for-20) from the free throw line.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Eastern Connecticut for a Little East Conference contest on Saturday, Jan. 28 (3 p.m.).