Panthers fall to two-time defending champs
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Mike Akinrola poured in a game-high 29 points and collected 12 rebounds Saturday afternoon, leading Rhode Island College to a 65-51victory over Plymouth State University in the Little East Conference men's basketball opener for both schools at Foley Gym.
Akinrola and classmate Mason Choice accounted for 43 of RIC's 65 points, as Choice finished with 14 points. Akinrola made 13-of-21 shots from the field while Choice converted 6-of-8 field goal attempts. RIC, the two-time defending conference champions and preseason favorites this year, improves to 7-0 on the season while PSU drops to 2-4.
Upset-minded PSU kept the game close in the first half. RIC pulled away to an 11-point lead (27-16) but PSU rattled off 10 straight points, capped by a three-pointer by senior Brian Chergey, cutting the margin to one. Choice added a hoop to give RIC a three-point margin (29-26) at the break.
It was a six-point RIC lead early in the second half when the Anchormen went on a 10-1 spurt to get the lead up to 15 points, 47-32, with 12 minutes remaining. PSU could get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
A big key in the game was rebounding, where the visitors had a whopping 55-26 advantage.
The Panthers are back on the court Tuesday with a non-conference affair at Tufts University. RIC returns home to host Salve Regina University on Tuesday.
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