RIC Drops Second Straight On Hardwood

RIC Release

Providence, R.I.-Senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) finished
with a career-high 22 points as the Rhode Island College men's
basketball team fell to Eastern Connecticut, 76-68, in Little East
Conference action on Saturday afternoon at The Murray Center.

“Eastern
Connecticut played with an intensity edge that we just couldn't match,”
RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. “Give them credit. They were prepared
for the level you need to play at to win Little East games and we were
not.”

Eastern jumped out to a 10-4 lead at the 16:19 mark
of the first half, capped by a three-pointer from freshman guard
Trachone Preston (Enfield, CT). The Warriors built on the momentum by
outscoring the hosts, 10-6 over the next 3:30 to increase their
advantage to 20-10 with 12:49 remaining.

With RIC down by
seven points, 24-17, at 7:24, senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn,
NY) started the Anchormen on the comeback trail with a layup that keyed
an 8-0 run. Back-to-back three-pointers by junior guard Mike Palumbo
(Providence, RI) gave the Anchormen a 28-24 lead at 4:38.

Senior
guard Joe Ives (Avon, CT) drained a clutch longball, which was followed
by a senior forward Chris Robitaille (Canton, CT) layup and a free
throw by sophomore guard Brandon Yarborough (Stamford, CT) to put the
Warriors up by a pair, 32-30, at 2:00. Free throws by RIC senior center
Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) briefly tied the game, but Ives made a
pair from the charity stripe with four seconds left to send the visitors
into the half up by two, 34-32.

The Warriors shot 67
percent (12-for-18) from the field in the first half, keyed by 12 points
from Ives. RIC shot 38 percent (12-for-32) and were led by Carter's 10
points.

Eastern came out in the second half and rattled
off an 8-0 run to build a 40-32 lead two minutes into the final frame.
The Anchormen chipped away at their deficit to climb within five points,
42-37, at 14:38. Eastern stormed back with a 9-2 surge, keyed by five
points by junior forward Mike Garrow (Terryville, CT) , to go up by 12,
51-39, with 10:20 left.

Trailing by double figures, the
Anchormen managed to cut the deficit to seven points on several
occasions down the stretch, but seemingly could not pull any closer.
With 2:30 on the clock, sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle,
NY) buried a three-pointer to make it, 64-60. After a steal by Roberts
on the ensuing inbound, Burton knocked down a layup with just 2:13 left
to play to cut the deficit to just two.

However, after
Robitaille hit one of two free throws for the Warriors to make it a
three-point game, Yarborough was fouled while converting a clutch layup
with just 1:17 on the clock. His three-point play gave Eastern
Connecticut a 68-62 lead and essentially sealed the victory for the
Warriors, as the Anchormen couldn't muster a comeback in the final
minute of the game, despite pulling within five points on two separate
occasions.

Eastern Connecticut shot 55 percent
(22-for-40) from the floor, 56 percent (5-for-6) from downtown and 79
percent (27-for-34) from the free throw line. Rhode Island College shot
just 40 percent (27-for-68) from the field, 30 percent (6-for-20) from
downtown and 47 percent (8-for-17) from the free throw line.

Despite
being outrebounded by the Warriors, 34-32, the Anchormen corralled 15
rebounds as a team. Carter led the hosts with a team-high eight board,
including four offensive boards, to go along with four assists and two
steals.

Rhode Island College also forced 25 turnovers,
while committing just 13 turnovers on the offensive end. Burton finished
with a game-high six steals and also added 17 points and four boards
for the Anchormen. Roberts chipped in with 12 points, seven boards, four
assists and two steals, while Palumbo finished with nine points off the
bench.

Garrow led the Warriors with 22 points and five
rebounds, while Ives tallied 14 points and six boards and Preston
totaled 14 points, three assists and two steals. Yarborough contributed
with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds to go along with two
blocks and two steals, while Robitaille dished out a team-high five
assists to go along with seven points and six boards.

In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Johnson & Wales on Wednesday, Dec. 19 (7:30 p.m.)