OSWEGO, N.Y. – The Rhode Island College Anchormen (21-7) will be making their second straight trip to the sectional round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament after defeating Oswego State (24-5), 71-63, Saturday night at Max Ziel Gymnasium. The Anchormen shot 55.3 percent from the field on 21-of-38 shooting as all five starters accounted for all but four of the squad’s points. Rhode Island College will now face Amherst at a site to be determined.
The Anchormen led by just two points at the half, 31-29, despite shooting 52.2 percent for the floor as Carl Lee scored 11 of his 15 total points in the first half. However, the host Lakers stuck with their opponent due in large part to the play of Hayden Ward, who recorded eight points and seven boards, five of which came on the offensive glass.
Chris Gilkes tied the game for Oswego State at 43-43 with 12:13 left to play, but back-to-back Rhode Island College layups from Nick Manson and Darius Debnam capped off a 6-0 run that put the Anchormen ahead 51-44 three minutes later. The Lakers cut the deficit to five points following a pair of free throws by Hayden Ward and 7:38 remaining. However, that would be as close as Oswego State would get the rest of the way as Rhode Island College scored 13 of its final 18 points from the charity stripe.
Mason Choice led the victors with 17 points, while shooting 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Nick Manson and Darius Debnam also added 13 points each. Hayden Ward scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Lakers. Joining Ward in double-digits were Chad Burridge and Chris Gilkes with 14 and 13 points, respectively.