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February 7, 2009

RIC too strong for PSU Men’s Basketball

(Game Box

              PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Bobby Bailey (Fall River, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points Saturday afternoon as Rhode Island College ran away from Plymouth State University, 62-46, in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

              The Anchormen won their seventh straight and 13th of their last 14 games. RIC improved to 16-4 overall and 9-1 in the LEC, maintaining a share of first place.  Plymouth State was held to a season-low 46 points and dropped to 9-12 overall and 5-5 in conference play.  The Panthers extended their string of alternating wins and losses to 11 games.

              Seniors Kaseem Johnson (New Haven, Conn.) and Tirrell Hill (Bronx, N.Y.) added 12 points apiece for the winners.  Sophomore guard Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.) finished with seven points and nine assists.

              Junior Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) led the Panthers with 15 points off the bench.  Junior Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) was the only other PSU player to score in double figures, ending up with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

              It was a close game for the first half.  RIC pulled ahead by six points (24-18) with six minutes remaining, but PSU kept it close and trailed by just two (26-24) at the half.

              After the Panthers tied the score at 28-28 early in the second half, RIC rattled off seven straight points and never trailed again.  PSU was still within seven points (47-40) with five minutes to play, but the Anchormen outscored the Panthers 15-6 the rest of the way. The 16-point final margin was RIC's largest of the day.

              The two defenses played well, PSU holding RIC to a 40 percent shooting performance and Rhode Island limiting Plymouth State to just 34 percent.  The Panthers had a 45-29 advantage on the boards.  The Anchormen turned the ball over just 10 times compared to 21 for the home team.

              Both teams are back in action on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. with LEC encounters, PSU traveling to rival Keene State and RIC returning home to host LEC co-leading UMass Dartmouth in the battle for first place.             

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