Jake Elmslie – Sports Editor
Rhode Island College Men’s Basketball earned their first Little East Conference win of the season Saturday afternoon in convincing fashion in a 76-62 victory over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials.
For the first chunk of the game it appeared that RIC was in for a dogfight, with both teams trading point for point in a physical contest that tested the limits of the Anchormen’s ball movement ability. The game remained close deep into the first half with the score being tied at 16-16 with 7:36 left to play in the frame. From here the Anchormen dominated their opponent and went into the locker room with a 31-20 lead at half time.
The Anchormen continued to make prey of their opponent in the second half, never relinquishing their double digit lead over the Colonials. RIC’s ball movement was significantly improved from their Wednesday evening loss against the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors due in a large part to the return of starting guard Jonatan Batista to the lineup. While Batista suffered a frightening injury scare near the end of the first half, falling to the ground hard and requiring assistance off of the court he managed to play nearly the entire second half and racked up a team high nine assists on the day.
Outside of the lopsided final score the Anchormen and the Colonials finished with surprisingly similar statistics in a number of key areas. Both teams turned in virtually identical shooting percentages at 37% a piece. Also, both teams had nearly identical rebounding numbers and each turned the ball over 18 times. When asked about how his team was able to dominate scoring wise in a game where they did not do much to distinguish themselves on the stat sheet RIC head coach Tom Glynn explained that “we put in a great defensive effort, that’s what we’re trying to forge as our identity going forward and I hope we can keep it up throughout the rest of the season.”
Staring for the Anchormen was senior captain Justin Campbell who managed to score 24 points to go alongside a game high 12 rebounds in a stellar performance where he was seemingly able to hit shots from every part of the floor.
RIC will improve to 7-2 and 1-1 in the Little East as a result of this win. The Anchormen will be on the road Monday evening for an out of conference matchup against Regis College.