RIC Falls To UMass Dartmouth

Corsairs Hand Anchormen Third Little East Setback

North Dartmouth, Mass.—Junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) scored a game-high 20 points as the Rhode Island College men's basketball team lost, 75-70, to UMass Dartmouth in Little East Conference action on Tuesday night at the Tripp Athletic Center.

Senior forward Darius Debnam (Dorchester, MA) led all rebounders with 10, while Akinrola corralled eight, as the Anchormen (11-7, 5-3 LEC) held a remarkable, 41-19, advantage on the glass. Sophomore guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) also reached double figures with an 11-point effort.

Senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA) scored a team-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, with three assists and three steals for the hosts.Junior guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA) chipped in 13 points, while junior guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA) added 11 points and a game-high five steals. The Corsairs (8-11, 4-4 LEC) shot 44 percent (23-of-52) from the field, including 39 percent (12-of-31) from behind the three-point line and 90 percent (17-of-19) from the free throw line.

The Anchormen shot 51 percent (27-of-53) from the floor, 38 percent (6-of-16) from three-point range and 73 percent (19-of-26) from the free-throw line.

Both teams battled back-and-forth in the opening nine minutes, which featured 11 lead changes, and with 11:46 left in the first half, Rhode Island College led UMD 17-15. Six consecutive points by sophomore center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) gave the Anchormen their largest lead, 27-17, with 7:17 remaining. The Corsairs closed the half on a 15-10 run, making the score 37-32 in favor of Rhode Island College.

UMass Dartmouth carried their momentum into the second half, executing a 13-8 run over six minutes to tie the game at 45-45 with 13:19 on the clock. At most two points separated the teams a majority of the second half, with 12 lead changes occurring in the span of 10 minutes, creating a tie at 67-67 with 2:42 remaining. RIC junior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI) made a three-pointer, but free throw shooting by Stephens and junior forward Colin Burns (Chepachet, RI) tied the game again at 70-70. UMD made five more free throws down the stretch and solid defense by the Corsairs locked up the 75-70 victory.

In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference play at home against UMass Boston on Saturday, Jan. 29.