Willimantic, Conn.- Eastern Connecticut freshman guard Tarchee Brown scored a game-high 21 points, while sophomore forward Hugh Lindo notched a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds, as the Warriors used a second half run to top the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team, 83-59, in Little East Conference action in Willimantic on Saturday night.
The game, a battle between the top two teams in the Little East, started as a seesaw battle with a layup by Anchormen (13-4, 5-2 LEC) senior center Victor Smith (Providence, RI) making the score 12-11 Eastern (15-3, 7-0 LEC), with 12:02 remaining in the half.
The Warriors increased their lead to seven, 25-18, with a three-pointer by junior guard Kevin Leumene (Stamford, CT) off a feed from Lindo with 5:22 left in the half. The Eastern lead grew to as large as 12 down the stretch, but a layup by Smith late in the half cut the Warriors’ lead to seven, 39-32, entering the half.
Smith had 12 points off the bench for RIC, while Eastern was paced by Leumene’s 12 points.
A quick layup from Smith to open the half brought the Anchormen to within five, 39-34, but stifling defense and red-hot shooting by the Warriors allowed the hosts to increase their lead.
A pair of Lindo free throws upped the Warriors lead to 16, 56-40, with 12:22 left. Lindo pushed the lead to 20, 63-43, with 10:24 remaining when he grabbed an offensive board and slammed it home. The remainder of the half the Anchormen went bucket for bucket, but the damage had already been done as the Warriors walked away with an 83-59 victory.
Brown’s 21 points came on 6-for-10 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 shooting from the charity stripe. Lindo scored 18 and hauled in 16 boards, while also handing out four assists. ECSU shot 51.0 percent (25-for-49) from the field, 60.0 percent (9-for-15) from downtown and shot a scorching 85.7 percent (24-for-28) from the free throw line.
Smith paced the Anchormen with 14 points, while senior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) chipped in seven points and eight boards. RIC finished the game shooting 41.8 percent (23-for-55) from the field, 31.6 percent (6-for-19) from three-point range and 58.3 percent (7-for-12) from the charity stripe.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference action at UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday, Jan. 27 (7:30 p.m.).