Men's Hoops Falls In NCAA Regional Final
March 6, 2010
Leading by 15 at the half, Rhode Island College shot .520 from the floor in the second half to hold off Middlebury on its way to a 75-59 win over the Panthers in Pepin Gym. The Anchormen (22-7) advance to next weekend's round of 16 at Williams, while the Panthers (25-4) end their season with a school-record for wins.
Rhode Island College took advantage of ice-cold Middlebury shooting early, taking an 11-1 lead with 14:32 remaining. The Panthers missed their first nine shots from the floor and were being outrebounded 10-4 early on. Ryan Wholey's 15-footer from the right baseline was Middlebury's first field goal of the game, making it an 11-3 game at the 13:50 mark.
RIC kept coming, extending its lead to 18-5 on a pair of free throws from Carl Lee with 10:38 left. Middlebury's Jake Wolfin hit back-to-back threes to cut the lead to seven, before RIC came back to own a 31-18 lead on a lay-up from Antone Gray with 3:05 remaining. The Anchormen closed the first half with a three from Nick Manson, taking a 37-22 lead into the break.
RIC's bench outscored Middlebury 19-2 in the first half, as they shot .448 from the floor. The Panthers shot .267, including just 2 of 13 from three-point range.
RIC extended its lead to 18 on a hoop from Darius Debnam at 18:34 of the second half, before Middlebury went on a 10-0 run. Five different players scored during the spurt, including a lay-up from Ryan Sharry followed a block from Andrew Locke. The lead remained around 10 until the Panthers cut the margin to 58-52 on a hoop from Sharry with 7:10 to play. RIC hit four of its next five shots, owning a 67-58 lead with 4:25 left to play. The Anchormen outscored the Panthers 8-1 from that point on, emerging with a 75-59 win.
The Anchorman bench held a huge advantage in the game, outscoring Middlebury 33-6. RIC ended the game shooting .481 from the floor, while the Panthers finished at .400 after shooting .533 in the second half. Middlebury made just 2 of 22 (.091) from behind the arc and 9 of 17 (.529) free throws, while RIC hit 8 of 18 (.444) from three-point range and 15 of 19 (.789) from the charity stripe.
Five players finished in double-figures for RIC, led by Lee's 15 points and six boards. Antone Gray scored 12 with five assists, while Mike Akinrola and Manson netted 11 apiece. Mason Choice finished the game with 10 points and five assists, while James Grimes grabbed eight boards.
Sharry led all scorers with 25 points and a career/game-high 14 rebounds in the game, while Wolfin added 13. Tim Edwards finished the night with seven rebounds, six assists and three blocks, while Locke scored nine with four blocks.