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RIC Anchormen Lose to Morrisville State in Overtime in NCAA Tournament



The Rhode Island College men's basketball team lost to Morrisville State 66-61 in overtime in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Div. III Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Murray Center on Saturday night.

Morrisville’s junior forward Mickey Davis (Syracuse, NY) tallied a game-high 17 points to go along with nine rebounds, while junior guard Jordan Prior (Cortland, NY) drained a pair of clutch three-pointers in the final minute of regulation to force overtime and lead Morrisville State to victory.

The Mustangs (23-5) advance to the Sectional Round and will face St. Mary’s (MD), which defeated Alvernia 72-66 in second round action on Saturday as well.

“We needed to make one more play to win and we just couldn’t,” said RIC Coach Bob Walsh. “This is a special group that has found a way to win every night, but tonight we came up short. I’m so proud of Tahrike Carter and our seniors for the uncommon level of toughness and intensity they brought to practice every day. They challenged me to be great, and I hope I did the same for them.”

RIC senior Marissa Silva of Woonsocket, RI, sang the national anthem to start the game, which drew a packed crowd to the Murray Center.

Tahrike Carter, a senior guard from Brooklyn, NY, led Rhode Island College with 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, while junior guard Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) posted a team-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sophomore forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) totaled 11 points, five rebounds, five steals and four blocks, while junior guard Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) chipped in with 12 points off the bench.

Junior guard Brandon Hanks (Syracuse, NY) posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards to go along with six assists and four steals to help pace the Mustangs, while junior guard Jailaan Kinsey (Syracuse, NY) contributed nine points, three rebounds and three assists. After hitting back-to-back treys to keep Morrisville State alive late in regulation, Prior added eight more points in overtime to finish with 14 for the day.

Morrisville State jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead over the first four minutes of the ballgame. Davis knocked down a clutch three-pointer during the run.

It took the Anchormen nearly five minutes to get on the board after missing their first six field goal attempts. Burton broke the ice with a layup at 15:08.

Trailing 9-2, RIC rattled off five straight with a three-pointer and layup by Sanders. The Mustangs countered with a 5-0 run of their own as Hanks made a layup and Kinsey canned a long ball.

Davis made it a 17-11 advantage for Morrisville State with 5:32 remaining, but the hosts ran off seven straight to take their first lead, 18-17, at 4:02. Burton keyed the run with two steals and four points, which included a two-handed dunk.

Davis sank a trifecta at 3:22 to put the Mustangs back on top. RIC cut the deficit down to a point, 22-21, on two free throws by DeCiantis. But Kinsey was fouled on his last second drive to the hoop and made a pair from the charity stripe to send the visitors into intermission up by three, 23-20.

RIC outscored MSC 10-2 in the paint over the first 20 minutes and scored 13 points off turnovers. The Anchormen shot 24 percent (7-for-29) from the field, 10 percent (1-for-10) from downtown in the first half, while the Mustangs shot 33 percent (8-for-24) from the floor and 40 percent (4-for-10) from long range.

Sophomore guard Alex Cruz (East Hartford, CT) made two free throws to start the second half, but Davis came back with a layup to make it 25-21, in the opening minutes. RIC converted three straight buckets as part of 7-3 run to tie it 28-all at 17:26.

RIC took a 31-30 lead at 15:45 on a DeCiantis trey and Carter sank a layup to extend the advantage to three 29 seconds later. A Sanders longball gave the Anchormen at 36-32 lead at 13:33, but a layup by junior forward Tom Wilk (Cortland, NY) and a three from Hanks helped the Mustangs regain the lead, 37-36, at 12:37.

MSC held on to the lead through the next three minutes as senior guard Brandon Henry (Harlem, NY), Wilk and Hanks all made shots. DeCiantis made a layup to put the Anchormen on top 44-43 at 8:40, then got his own board off of a missed three and fed Carter for an easy layup. Carter brought the house to its feet as he threw down an emphatic one-handed dunk off a steal to make it 48-43, with 6:57 left.

Junior forward Kucjok Ater (Syracuse, NY) made a pair from the line to cut the Anchormen advantage down to three, 48-45, but neither team could convert on either of their ensuing five possessions.

With 1:03 left, Morrisville turned the ball over and DeCiantis sank a huge three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Anchormen some breathing room, 51-45.

Undaunted, MSC got a huge three-pointer by Prior then had a chance to tie the game when junior guard Rhamel Williams (Bronx, NY) was fouled while taking a three after RIC turned the ball over. Despite missing all three attempts, MSC got the rebound on the final miss and Kinsey fed Prior for the game-tying three with 19 seconds left.

Following a jump ball call that gave possession to the Mustangs, Hanks got the ball from Davis and tried a running one-hander, but his shot from the free throw line was rejected by Burton and the game went to overtime.

Carter was fouled after a RIC steal at 4:24 of overtime and sank both free throws to put the Anchormen on top, 53-51, but Davis answered back with a spin move in the low post to tie it.

Burton hit a jump shot from the free throw line to make it 55-53, but Davis outworked the RIC rebounders to come away with a loose ball and was sent to the line for a pair. He knocked down one to pull within one point with less than three minutes left.

After Carter’s three-pointer rimmed out, Williams made a running circus-like layup from under the RIC basket to put the Mustangs on top, 56-55.

Carter drove to the net and found DeCiantis wide open in the corner for a three-pointer. But Prior drove the length of the floor to tie the game, 58-all, with 1:03 left in the game. Burton was fouled on the ensuing possession, but missed both of his attempts from the line. Prior was then fouled and drained both of his shots to give the visitors a 60-58 lead with 45 seconds left.

RIC turned the ball over and Hanks fed Prior for a layup on a 2-on-1 fast break to make it 62-58. Burton got the ball down low, sank a layup and was fouled. The forward nailed his free throw to make it a one point, 62-61, game with 22.9 seconds left.

The Anchormen nearly forced a turnover as Morrisville State inbounded the ball, but alertly called a timeout with 16.1 seconds left. Kinsey was fouled and sent to the line with 14.6 seconds left and made both of his free throws.

RIC found DeCiantis for a three, but his attempt bounced out and Prior corralled the board with 1.9 seconds left. He sealed the contest with two free throws.

The Anchormen shot 34 percent from the field (23-for-67), 21 percent from downtown (5-for-24) and 59 percent from the free throw line (10-for-17). The Mustangs shot 38 percent (23-for-61) from the floor, 50 percent (8-for-16) from long rang and 50 percent (12-for-24) from the free throw line.

MSC outrebounded RIC, 50-41, and gathered a total of 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second-chance points.

The Anchormen held a slight advantage in the turnover battle, forcing the Mustangs into 22 miscues, compared to just 20 for the hosts. Rhode Island College mustered 25 points off those turnovers, while Morrisville State managed just nine points off turnovers.