Panthers eliminated by defending champs
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Mason Choice posted a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday evening, while classmate center Mike Akinrola scored his 1,000th career point as third-seeded Rhode Island College cruised past sixth-seeded Plymouth State University, 79-48, in the first round of the Little East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Anchormen (21-5) will travel to Willimantic, Conn. on Friday night to face off against second-seeded Western Connecticut at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals hosted by Eastern Connecticut. RIC split the season series with the Colonials and most recently edged Western at home, 79-78, on Feb. 14.
With the win over Plymouth State (9-16), No. 23 RIC extends its winning streak to five games and remains undefeated at The Murray Center with a 14-0 home record. PSU's season comes to a close under first-year coach Andrew Novick.
Four Anchormen notched double-figures, including Akinrola who finished with 14 points and five rebounds. After coming into Tuesday's contest stuck on 999 points, Akinrola recorded his 1,000th career point on the very first basket of the game, becoming the 31st player in program history to do so. Meanwhile, sophomore Michael Palumbo tallied 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown, while sophomore Avery King added 10 points.
Senior Brian Chergey led the Panthers with 11 points and three rebounds, while sophomore Petey Skevas added nine points and four assists. Sophomore Sheldon Benson registered seven points, while freshman Shomari Morgan chipped in with six.
RIC dominated the glass en route to the victory, outrebounding Plymouth State, 42-21. Junior guard Tahrike Carter, who finished with nine boards, hauled in seven offensive rebounds.
The Anchormen were deadly from outside, as they shot 53 percent (10-for-19) from the beyond the three-point arc, while hitting 56 percent (29-for-52) of their shots from the floor.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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