Providence, R.I. – Seniors Eric Alleyne, Eric Burton and Victor Smith combined for 54 points, 21 rebounds, 12 steals and nine assists as Rhode Island College secured sole possession of second place in the Little East Conference with a 75-64 victory over UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday night at The Murray Center.
Alleyne scored 20 points, recorded five steals and dished out four assists for the Anchormen (17-7, 9-4 LEC), while Burton notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards to go along with four assists and four steals. Smith scored 16 and grabbed eight rebounds, while registering three blocks and three steals.
Rhode Island College battled back and forth with the Corsairs (12-12, 8-5 LEC) early, holding a slim, 14-12 advantage with 8:57 left in the first half. RIC pushed their lead to seven following a thunderous fast break dunk from Burton off a feed from Alleyne with 6:30 left in the half. A layup by the Corsairs’ junior center Wale Abraham (Lynn, MA) cut the RIC lead to three with 3:47 left in the half. The Anchormen responded with a 6-0 run to close out the half to take a 32-23 lead into the locker room.
RIC used a 31-8 run over the first 8:27 of the second half to open an enormous 32-point, 63-31 advantage. The Corsairs battled back, whittling the lead down to nine, 73-64, following a three-pointer by junior guard Jordan Rezendes (Onset, MA) with just 42 seconds remaining. The Anchormen hit 2-of-4 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
RIC freshman guard Roosevelt Shider (Meriden, CT) chipped in seven points in the victory. RIC shot 43.6 percent (24-for-55) from the floor, 35.3 percent (6-for-17) from three-point land and 67.7 percent (21-for-31) from the charity stripe as a team.
Rezendes was spectacular for the Corsairs, notching a game-high 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Abraham scored 11 points and snagged eight boards. UMD was held to 36.7 percent (22-for-60) shooting from the floor and 28.6 percent (4-for-14) from downtown. The Corsairs shot 76.2 percent (16-for-21) from the free throw line as a team.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will continue Little East Conference action at Plymouth State on Saturday, Feb. 21 (3 p.m.).