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PSU Men’s Basketball suffers first loss of season to Rhode Island College

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island College junior guards Kinsey Durgin (Greenwood, Maine) and Kamari Williams (Springfield, Mass.) scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, as Rhode Island College handed Plymouth State University's men's basketball team its first loss of the season Saturday afternoon, an 80-75 decision in a Little East Conference contest at the Murray Center.

The Anchormen, the LEC pre-season favorites, improve to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in league play. The Panthers, tied for third in the LEC pre-season poll, fall to 7-1 overall and 1-1 in the Little East.

Freshman Kaseem Johnson (New Haven, Conn.) posted his third double-double for RIC with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Durgin connected on 5-of-10 three-point attempts. Senior Kevin Payette (Woonsocket, R.I.) had 11 points, including two free throws to seal the win, while sophomore Davon Yarbrough (New Haven, Conn.) had 10 points. RIC has won its last four meetings with Plymouth State in the Murray Center.

Junior Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was one assist shy of a triple double for the second straight Saturday, finishing with 25 points, 13 boards and nine assists. Junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) added career-highs of 22 points and eight assists. Pope and Walcek accounted for 47 of PSU's 75 points, and were the only two to score in double figures.

RIC maintained an advantage most of the first half, leading by as many as 11 points on two occasions. PSU battled back, outscoring the hosts 13-4 over the final four minutes of the half to forge a 36-all deadlock at the break.

The Anchormen kept the lead most of the second half, pushing the margin to 13 points (72-59) with three minutes remaining. PSU staged a late rally, pulling to within three points in the final 20 seconds, but RIC made eight straight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

After a break for final exams and the holidays, the Panthers return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at home against Middlebury (6:00 p.m.) The next LEC game is on Saturday, Jan. 7, vs. UMass Dartmouth (3:00 p.m.)

(Courtesy of RIC Sports Information)

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