Rivera paces Panthers in LEC setback
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman Dante Rivera (Methuen, Mass.) led a trio of Panthers in double figures, but a late run lifted Rhode Island College to a 70-54 win over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference (LEC) men's basketball game at the Murray Center on Wednesday night.
The teams went back and forth in a nip and tuck first half. RIC used a 7-0 spurt to break a 19-19 tie with five minutes left in the opening half and the host took a 34-30 lead into the break.
Plymouth State remained within striking distance over the first 12 minutes of the second half and senior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) finished an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Anchormen's lead to 55-50 with 8:16 left, but RIC responded with a game-deciding 14-0 run over the next six minutes.
With the setback the Panthers fall to 10-8 and 5-5 in the Little East, while RIC improves to 11-8 and 4-6 in league play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 54, Rhode Island College 70
Plymouth State (10-8, 5-5 LEC)
Rhode Island College (11-8, 4-6 LEC)
How it Happened:
* Freshman Deyshawn Tengbeh (East Providence, R.I.) had six early points as the hosts built an 11-5 lead over the first 4:43 of action and moments later a pair of Anchormen free throws pushed the lead to 15-7.
* Junior Joe Simpson (Manchester, N.H.) got hot, scoring seven points as part of a 9-0 run as PSU surged in front, 16-15, at the midpoint of the first half.
* The Panthers went up by as many as three, 19-16, following an Osgood free throw, but the hosts responded with a 10-0 spurt to retake the lead for good.
* Plymouth State hung tight and freshman Chris McCarthy (Chelmsford, Mass.) got to the hoop to pull the Panthers to within four, 34-30, at the half.
* Osgood's steal and jumper cut the margin to two in the opening seconds of the second half, but the Anchormen hit from beyond the arc and maintained the lead.
* Tengbeh drained a jumper to push the advantage to double figures, 51-41, with 11:50 remaining, but the Panthers clawed back and Osgood's free throw cut the deficit to 55-50 with 8:16 to go.
* The hosts responded with the 14-0 surge to seize control. Rivera stopped the run with a layup and freshman Manny Alisandro (Manchester, N.H.) grabbed his own miss and hit the put-back to make it 69-54 with two minutes to play but Plymouth wouldn't get any closer.
Inside the Numbers:
* Rivera led the Panthers with 12 points, three steals and two assists, while Osgood and junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) both contributed ten points. Osgood added four boards, three steals and two assists, with LeRoy dishing out a pair of assists as well.
* Alisandro led PSU with nine rebounds to go with his seven points, while Simpson chipped in with seven points and five boards.
* Tengbeh led all scorers with 20 points, with sophomore Adham Floyd (Worcester, Mass.) and senior Justin Campbell (New Haven, Conn.) adding 19 and 16 respectively.
* Campbell finished with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds, while junior Benjamin Vezele (Providence, R.I.) chipped in with nine points and 20 rebounds.
* The Panthers struggled from long range, shooting 2-of-14 (14.3%) from beyond the arc, while the Anchormen hit on 8-of-21 (38.1%) attempts from distance.
* The hosts owned a 54-30 advantage on the glass despite a rotation of just six players.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We struggled to convert on some high percentage shots tonight," said head coach Andrew Novick. "It put a lot of pressure on our defense and rebounding."
* PSU is back on the road Saturday (Jan. 26) for an LEC contest at Eastern Connecticut State with tip off set for 3:00 p.m.
* The Anchormen are also back in league play on Saturday (Jan. 26), playing host to the University of Southern Maine at 3:00 p.m.
– 30 –