Rhode Island College Takes Down Plymouth State At Home

Rhode Island College Press Release


Providence, R.I. – Senior guards Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) and Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) finished with 12 points and 11 points, respectively, to help send the Rhode Island College men's basketball team in a 70-59 victory over Plymouth State at The Murray Center in Little East Conference action on Saturday.

Rhode Island College (17-8, 11-3 LEC) will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 2014 Little East Conference Tournament and will host No. 7 Southern Maine at The Murray Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (7:30 p.m.) in first round action.

DeCiantis added five rebounds and three steals for RIC, while Palumbo chipped in with a pair of rebounds and a pair of assists. Meanwhile, junior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) recorded 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals to help lead the Anchormen to their fifth win in six games.

“I'm proud of the fact that the seniors stepped up on Senior Day to get us over the hump,” said Head Coach Bob Walsh. “Mike, Tom, and Jacob Page (Brookline, MA) have been incredibly reliable and tough over the last four years, and they were the same way today to get us the win.”

Freshman guard Austin Cilley (Westerly, RI) tallied 10 points and four rebounds off the bench for the hosts, while junior guard Eric Alleyne (Watertown, MA) posted seven points, three rebounds and three assists. Freshman forward Terrance Tribble (White Plains, NY) totaled four points, five rebounds and two steals, while junior forward Victor Smith (Providence, RI) chipped in with six points and three blocks.

Plymouth State (13-12, 7-7 LEC) was led by freshman guard Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, NH), who finished with a game-high 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and four steals. With the loss, the Panthers sealed the No. 5 seed in the upcoming LEC Tournament and will be on the road in the opening round against either fourth-seeded Western Connecticut on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Logan Kesty (New Boston, NH) netted 11 points and dished out three assists for PSU, while junior guard Alex Burt (Dover, NH) also added 11 points off the bench. Senior forward Mark MacGregor (Rochester, NH) finished with four points, five rebounds and three assists, while freshman guard Nathan Clarke (Reading, MA) contributed six points, three boards and two assists.

PSU's leading scorer, senior guard Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, CT), was limited to just four points on 1-of-5 shooting, but did manage to pull down six rebounds to go along with four steals. Skevas, however, committed nine turnovers on the afternoon, while the Panthers coughed up the ball 25 times as a team. On the other end, RIC committed just 17 turnovers in the victory.

Rhode Island College opened the game on a 16-0 scoring run and held the Panthers scoreless until the 12:26 mark, when junior guard Shomari Morgan (Manchester, NH) got PSU on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. Meanwhile, Plymouth State didn't record a field goal until the 10:59 mark, when Arsenault connected on a layup to make it, 20-4. Yet, despite trailing by 16, the Panthers rallied for a 17-4 run to close out the frame, keyed by seven points from Arsenault, en route to the, 28-21, halftime deficit.

The visitors carried the momentum into the second half and opened the stanza on a 17-9 run to take their first lead of the game, 38-37, with 14:51 left to play. After the Anchormen managed to regain the lead a little over a minute later, PSU responded with back-to-back treys from Kesty and Burt to take a 44-41 lead over RIC with 12:10 on the clock. However, Cilley answered right back for the Anchormen with a three-pointer of his own at the 11:53 mark to tie the score, 44-44.

Moments later, freshman guard Anthony Williams (Waldorf, MD) came off the bench to bury a tough layup in the paint with 11:22 on the clock, giving the hosts a two-point, 46-44, lead over the Panthers. That basket gave Rhode Island College the lead for good, as the hosts never relinquished the advantage for the remaining 11 minutes of action. Although Plymouth State cut the deficit to just two points on several occasions over the next few minutes, RIC outscored PSU, 24-15, en route to the 11-point victory.

The Anchormen shot 43 percent (22-for-51) from the field, 47 percent (9-for-19) from downtown and 68 percent (17-for-25) from the free throw line.

The Panthers shot 41 percent (21-for-51) from the floor, 73 percent (8-for-11) from beyond the three-point arc and 82 percent (9-for-11) from the charity stripe.

RIC outrebounded Plymouth State, 32-31, in the win and finished with a total of 13 steals and seven blocks. PSU did not record a blocked shot, but did manage to swipe eight steals.