PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior guard Bobby Bailey (Fall River, Mass.) and freshman backcourt mate Anthony Fortes (East Providence, R.I.) helped second-seeded Rhode Island College eliminate seventh-seeded Plymouth State University, 77-58, from the 2008 Little East Conference Men¹s Basketball Tournament in a quarterfinal win Tuesday night at the Murray Center.
RIC (20-6) advances to the semifinals for fourth consecutive season and will battle longtime rival, third-seeded Keene State College, at top-seeded and tourney host UMass Dartmouth, on Friday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. PSU completes its season at 8-18.
Bailey led five Anchormen in double figures with a 16-point, seven-rebound performance. Fortes notched his first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Junior Tirrell Hill (Bronx, N.Y.), freshman Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.) and junior Cameron Stewart (Newport, R.I.) contributed, 11, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Sophomore guard Jason O¹Keefe (Everett, Mass.) led Plymouth State with 13 points, while sophomore forward Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) logged 11 points. The team’s leading scorer on the season, junior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) was held to nine points.
The Anchormen were sluggish in the first half as upset-minded Plymouth State led by four, 37-33, at the break. RIC shot just 37 percent (13-for-35) from the field and struggled mightily from three-point land with a 13 percent (2-for-15) performance through the first 20 minutes.
The Panthers went on a 5-0 run to open the second stanza to build a nine-point lead, 42-33. Rhode Island College responded with a 15-4 run to take the lead for good, capped by two Fortes¹ free throws with 9:16 left in the game. Plymouth State never recovered as the Anchormen stepped on the gas, ballooning the lead to a game-high 21-points with under a minute left.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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