Shooting woes hurt Panthers; Skevas leads way with 12 points
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Rhode Island College used strong defense and balanced scoring as key ingredients Saturday enroute to a 58-41 win over Plymouth State University in Little East Conference men's basketball action at Foley Gymnasium.
RIC, which held the Panthers to just 27 percent shooting (13-of-49) from the field, improved to 10-5 overall and 4-1 in the LEC. Plymouth State falls to 8-7 and 2-3.
Leading by just four points, 24-20, at the intermission, RIC used a second half surge to win its fourth consecutive game. The Anchormen increased their lead to double-digits, 38-26, early in the second half following a pair of Tom DeCiantis (North Kingston, R.I.) drives, one an old fashioned three-point play. The visitors, who increased their lead to as much as 20 points, were never seriously challenged down the stretch.
The game began as a two-sided defensive battle with neither team able to find the bottom of the basket for the first 4:30 of play. PSU's Shomari Morgan (Manchester, N.H.) finally got the scoreboard working with a steal and lay-up, however it would be the last time the home team would lead in this contest. A minute later Rhode Island College broke its drought when Austin Cilley (Westerly, R.I.) drained a three-pointer to give his team the lead for good.
It looked as though RIC would run away with this one early as it went on a 19-0 run after Morgan's lay-up. PSU dug deep and went on an 18-5 run over the final 6:37 of the first half to close the gap to 24-20. A three-point bomb by Logan Kesty (New Boston, N.H.) capped the comeback and gave Plymouth State momentum into the break.
PSU sophomore Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) hit an inside shot to start the second half, drawing the Panthers to within a pair, 24-22, but that would be as close as they would get. The Anchormen responded with a 19-4 run to put the game in their favor.
Cilley led RIC with 11 points while Terrance Tribble (White Plains, N.Y.) chipped in with 10. Reserve center Victor Smith (Providence, R.I.) came off the bench to score nine points and haul in five rebounds. The Anchormen shot 54-percent (15-28) from the floor in the decisive second half.
Plymouth State was led by senior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.), who scored 12 points. Morgan and Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H.) each had six points while Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) and Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) had five points apiece.
Plymouth State returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to LEC rival Southern Maine. RIC is also on the road Tuesday, visiting Western Connecticut State University.
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