RIC downs no. 1-ranked MIT, 68-44
RIC junior guard Tom DeCiantis
Junior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, R.I.) poured in a career-high 19 points, while senior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 16 points, five rebounds and three steals, as the Rhode Island College men’s basketball team knocked off no. 1-ranked MIT, 68-44, at The Murray Center in non-conference action on Nov. 29.
RIC improved its record to 5-0 with the win over the top-ranked Engineers, who fall to 5-1 on the season. A remarkable defensive effort from the Anchormen held the Engineers to their lowest scoring total since they totaled just 44 points against Coast Guard on Feb. 27, 2008.
“This win was completely about our players,” said Head Coach Bob Walsh. “Tahrike Carter took a leadership role this week and I just got out of their way. We defended like a championship program tonight, but the offensive end was all about them. We trusted each other and made plays.”
After the two squads exchanged baskets in the opening minutes, MIT senior guard Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) connected on a layup to give the Engineers a 5-4 lead with 16:04 on the clock. However, that would prove to be the only lead of the game for MIT, as the Anchormen responded with a 25-5 run to pull away from their top-ranked opponents midway through the first half.
RIC held the Engineers to just 30 percent (14-for-47) shooting from the field and 22 percent (4-for-18) shooting from downtown. Kates, a D3Hoops.com Fourth Team All-American and First Team ALL-ECAC selection a season ago, finished with a game-high 27 points, five rebounds and five steals on 11-of-21 shooting. However, the rest of the Engineers combined to go just 3-for-26 from the floor in the loss.
Senior guard Tahrike Carter
Meanwhile, the Anchormen shot 43 percent (22-for-51) from the floor, 46 percent (10-for-22) from beyond the three-point arc and 78 percent (14-for-18) from the free throw line. Carter and DeCiantis, who added three assists and three rebounds to go along with a team-high 19 points, keyed the effort on offense for RIC, while junior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, R.I.) recorded 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, N.Y.) chipped in with six points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench.
MIT outrebounded RIC, 36-30, and corralled 14 offensive rebounds as a team. However, the Anchormen forced the Engineers to turn the ball over 20 times, while coughing up the ball just 10 times on the offensive end. RIC also dished out 14 assists, as opposed to just five dimes for MIT.
Aside from an outstanding effort from Kates, Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) paced the Engineers with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with four points and three steals. Sophomore forward Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) added four points, nine rebounds and two blocks for an MIT squad that was without senior All-NEWMAC center Noel Hollingsworth (Salt Lake City, Utah), a D3Hoops.com All-Region selection a season ago.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will open Little East Conference play at home against Plymouth State on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m.