Enrique Castaneda-Pineda-Sports Editor
The Men’s basketball team returned this month in search of momentum, starting the month off with only a 2-9 record. Starting with a home game against Keene State, the Anchormen looked to capture their first win of the new year.
As CJ Donaldson scored 12 points, including four rebounds and three assists; he attempted to lead the team to a victory. However, Keene State had other plans, as they shot over 50 percent in the game compared to RIC’s 36 percent. RIC did out-rebound Keene 42-37, while barely having a higher three point line and free throw line percentage. Both Grant Gillis and Malcolm Smith scored 11 points in the game, with Gillis adding six rebounds and three assists and Smith adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Keene State snatched the lead by the end of the first half, with a 34-22 lead. Going into the second half, The Owls would not let up as they continued to score on RIC, eventually leading RIC to a 79-58 defeat.
Hoping to clinch a win, RIC traveled to Southern Maine with Malcolm Smith leading the team. Smith scored 15 points and had eight rebounds, while Roosevelt Shider scored 13 points and adding two rebounds to his stats. Donaldson contributed with seven points, but the most rebounds of the team with 10.
RIC went into the second half with the lead, as they would maintain it for the remainder of the game. With 48 percent from the field, RIC managed to get a win away from home to mark their first win of the year, 67-51.
Returning home, RIC was set to face off against Plymouth State. Donaldson had an explosive performance, racking up 22 points in the game, including four rebounds and four assists. Smith followed closely behind as he scored 17 points, with five rebounds and three assists in the game. Adham Floyd added 16 points to the total, while also grabbing six rebounds, two steals and dishing out three assists. Gillis managed to score 10 points while also having seven rebounds.
Despite the efforts of Jaylen Leroy of Plymouth State, scoring an incredible 43 points, they would not be able to cut down RIC’s lead to make a comeback. RIC managed their second straight win, ending the game 85-76.
Their last game at home before they have to travel away, was a tight contest against Western Connecticut. Adham Floyd managed to record a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Donaldson added 12 points to their total, along with four rebounds and four assists.
Western Connecticut had a close advantage going into the second half, with a score of 34-33. They managed to build their lead as the second half continued, finally building to a double-digit lead. Eventually, RIC could not make it back on top as they would hold their lead to win 78-70.
Last, but not least, is the RIC face off against Eastern Connecticut with Justin Campbell grabbing a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds to push the team forward. Floyd followed with 11 points and eight rebounds and four assists, while Gillis adds seven points and five rebounds.
Despite a bit of back-and-forth from the teams, the closest RIC’s comeback got was 47-45, with only five minutes left on the clock. Eastern Connecticut did not let them get any closer, pulling away to hand RIC their 12th loss of the season by a score of 49-61.
The teams current record is 4-12 overall, with a Little East Conference (LEC) record of 2-5. They will be back home Saturday afternoon to play against UMass Boston in another LEC contest.