PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Kevin Payette (Woonsocket, R.I.) and junior Kinsey Durgin (Greenwood, Maine) combined to make 12-of-18 shots Saturday afternoon, finishing with 34 points and leading Rhode Island College past Plymouth State University, 89-70, in Little East Conference men's basketball action at Foley Gymnasium.
The LEC pre-season favorite Anchormen (11-7 overall) pull into a tie for third place in the LEC with the Panthers (13-6), both teams at 5-4 in league play. Keene State and UMass Boston share the conference lead with 7-2 marks.
Payette connected on 7-of-9 from the floor and Durgin made 5-of-9, with both men hitting a pair of three-pointers. Junior Brian Stanko (Swansea, Mass.) added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and freshman Cameron Stewart (Newport, R.I.) contributed 12 points, five boards and five steals of the RIC bench.
The PSU tandem of junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) and senior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) combined for 35 of PSU's 70 points. Walcek made 6-of-10 shots, including 3-of-4 from long range, to finish with a team-high 18 points and six rebounds, while Boutilier converted 7-of-11 from the floor for a 17-point effort. Senior guards Brandon Boggs (Strafford, N.H.) and Mark Dunham (Salem, N.H.) added 11 points apiece.
RIC shot 56 percent from the floor for the game, 57.7 percent in the first half and 55.6 after the break, all against a Plymouth State team that leads the LEC in both scoring defense (68.2 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (41.6). The Anchormen also made 82 percent from the free throw line (18-of-22), and had a 34-26 advantage on the boards.
Trailing by one midway through the first half, the Anchormen went on a 16-3 burst to take control and led by 14 points at the intermission (40-26). RIC never let PSU back in the game, leading by double digits nearly the entire second half. The Panthers got a close as eight points (72-64) with just under four minutes left, but RIC answered with the next 12 points to seal the deal.
The Panthers play their next four games on the road over the next two weeks, beginning Thursday with a non-conference game at Bates (7:00 p.m.) RIC returns home to host Coast Guard in a non-conference tilt on Monday (7:00 p.m.)
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