Rhode Island Coll. blasts PSU-Behrend
Anchormen use big first half to cruise into NCAA Second Round
OSWEGO, N.Y. -- Rhode Island College (20-7) fired a scorching 60.4 percent from the field to sink Penn State-Behrend (23-5) 83-54 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament Friday night at Max Ziel Gymnasium. Rhode Island College used a 12-0 run midway through the first half en route to posting a 44-25 lead at intermission, and never looked back. The Anchormen will face the winner of Oswego State/Wells at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday at Max Ziel Gymnasium.
Antone Gray scored a game-high 19 points for the victors, while also joining the 1,000-point club with 1,010 career points. He was joined in double-digits by Mike Akinrola, who chipped in 16 points to go along with six boards. Three Lion players scored ten or more points as Justin Kovac scored 17, Chris Saltzman added 11, and Adam Palcic posted 10.
The game was tight in the early stages as the Anchormen held a slim 18-16 lead after a Kovac trey pulled Penn State-Behrend to within two with 9:52 remaining in the first half. However, the Lions went on to miss their next four shots, while Rhode Island College went 4-for-6 from the field during that span to build a 14-point cushion just over three minutes later.
Another Kovac three-pointer brought Penn State-Behrend to within 32-23 with 4:04 to play, but the Anchormen closed out the half on a 12-2 run to go into the locker room ahead 44-25.
The Lions cut the deficit to 13 points early in the second half, but Carl Lee scored five straight points for Rhode Island College during a 7-0 run as the lead ballooned to 20 at 53-33.
In addition to shooting well from the field, the Anchormen dominated the glass out-rebounding their opponent, 38-20. Penn State-Behrend finished the game shooting 42.0 percent (21-of-50) from the field, including 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from three-point range.