Strong First Half Pushes Rhode Island College Past Men's Basketball
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Led by Nyheem Sanders team-high 15 points and a strong showing in the first half the Anchormen of Rhode Island College defeated men's basketball by the final of 63-49 Saturday afternoon in a Little East Conference contest at The Murray Center.
With the loss the Beacons fell to 6-5 overall, 1-2 in the Little East. For Rhode Island College they improved to 10-2, 2-1 in the conference. Going into Saturday's match-up the Anchormen received a combined 21 votes on the most recent D3Hoops.com Top-25 Coaches Poll, and were ranked as high as 18th on that poll earlier this season.
Sanders closed the Saturday's win for RIC shooting 4-for-7 from the field and 7-for-8 at the line. In the opening half, the Anchormen shot 43.5% (10-for-23) from the field, while their defense held UMB to just 14 points on 5-of-22 shooting.
For the Beacons junior center Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) led the game with his 16 points and eight boards. The 6'9" Boston native closed out the game 5-for-11 from the floor, and 6-for-10 at the charity strip. Benson also walked off the hardwood with a team-best three assists and two blocks.
Behind him Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) was the only other Beacon to finish in double-figures as the senior captain recorded 11 points. Mitchell recorded five boards, two assists, and a game-best five steals in 33 minutes of action.
After the very tough first half, UMB found some rhythm in the second as they outscored the Anchormen 35-27. Unfortunately their 37.9% shooting from the field was not enough to close the wide gap made by RIC in the opening 20 minutes. The Beacons finished the day shooting just over 31%, while the Anchormen capped off the afternoon shooting 41.2% (21-for-51). RIC also won the battle on the glass as they held a +12 advantage over the Beacons (44-32).
Men's Basketball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Plymouth State University for a 7:30 p.m. conference game.