PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island College scored 16 unanswered points in the second half Saturday afternoon, turning a close game into a rout as the Anchormen defeated Plymouth State University, 78-61, in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at The Murray Center.
The upset-minded Panthers presented a formidable challenge for the first 30 minutes against the LEC's two-time defending conference tournament champion and the LEC pre-season favorite. PSU had the lead much of the first half before settling for a 36-36 tie at halftime. The visitors had a 45-44 advantage with 15 minutes to play in the second half and were within eight points (59-51) with 10 minutes to go when the Anchormen went on the game-winning rally.
RIC won its third straight contest to begin the semester, improving to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the Little East. PSU suffered its first conference loss of the season and fell to 5-8 overall and 2-1 in LEC play.
The Anchormen used a balanced scoring attack, as senior Bobby Bailey (Fall River, Mass.) finished with a team-high 14 points, freshman Mason Choice (Newport, R.I.) added 12 points, and sophomore Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.) and senior Wil Lyons (Warwick, R.I.) chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Plymouth State had three players reach double figures in scoring - junior Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) with 13 points and juniors Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) and Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) with 10 each. Sophomore Tom Dowd (Portsmouth, N.H.) collected a game-high 10 rebounds but managed just one point.
PSU returns home to host the University of Massachusetts Boston on Tuesday in a Little East Conference contest (7:30 p.m.) RIC is home again on Tuesday against Southern Maine (7:30 p.m.)
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