Keene, N.H. – Senior guard Eric Alleyne poured in a career-high 26 points to go along with five boards, five steals and four assists to lead the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team to a 79-69 victory over Little East Conference rival Keene State on Saturday afternoon.
The score remained tight midway through the first half with Keene State (15-6, 6-4 LEC) holding a 12-8 lead over RIC (15-6, 7-3 LEC) with 13:38 left in the first half.
Alleyne put the Anchormen up four, 20-16, when he converted on back-to-back layups. A dunk from KSC junior center Nate Howard (Cheshire, CT) put the Owls up 23-22, but a quick 6-0 run by RIC, capped by an Alleyne free throw with 4:33 left in the first, put the Anchormen up, 28-23. Keene cut the lead down to one, but a late trifecta from freshman guard Roosevelt Shider (Meriden, CT) with nine seconds remaining in the stanza sent RIC into the break with a 35-31 advantage.
Alleyne led the Anchormen by scoring 11 in the first half, while the hosts were paced by sophomore forward Matt Ozzella’s (Medway, MA) 10 points.
RIC came out on fire in the second half, with back-to-back treys from Alleyne and Shider putting RIC in control with a 17:57 remaining. The Anchormen increased their lead to 16 points when senior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) nailed a three-pointer just five minutes into the second half.
A free throw from Keene State freshman guard Dizel Wright (Springfield, MA) cut the RIC lead down to 11, 64-53, with 5:03 to play. A pair of free throws from senior center Victor Smith (Providence, RI) put RIC up by 16, 74-58 with 3:11 remaining in the game.
Alleyne’s career-high led five Anchormen in double digits with Burton scoring 10, Shider with 12, Smith with 13 and junior forward Patrick Matthews (Waipahu, HI) scoring 14 off the bench. The Anchormen shot 50.0 percent (25-for-50) from the field, 31.6 percent (6-for-19) from downtown and 69.7 percent (23-for-33) from the free throw line.
Ozzella led the Owls with 16, while Howard finished with a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards. The Owls shot 38.0 percent (19-for-50) from the field and 76.3 percent (29-for-38) from the free throw line. The Owls were held to just 12.5 percent (2-for-16) from three-point land for the game.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Western Connecticut on Tuesday, Feb. 11 (7:30 p.m.).