PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jonatan Batista finished four points shy of a triple-double with six points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Rhode Island College Anchormen defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies 66-56 in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at the Murray Center.
With its win over Southern Maine, RIC is now 12-8 overall and 5-6 in the Little East Conference. Southern Maine falls to 4-14 overall and 2-9 in conference action.
With three players scoring in double figures, RIC raced out to a commanding 39-18 lead at the half and then held off a second-half Husky surge to secure the win.
Benjamin Vezele had 19 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 7-for-11 from the free throw line to lead RIC in scoring. Adham Floyd had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Justin Campbell racked up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Southern Maine junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) led all scorers with 30 points, adding nine rebounds, two steals and an assist. It was the fourth time this season that Pitts-Young reached the 30-point plateau. Senior Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) added 12 points and six rebounds. Senior Avaughn Brown had seven points, five rebounds and two assists.
RIC shot 44.8 percent (13-for-29) in the first half to open up its lead. Floyd had 13 of his 16, while Vezele added 10. Conversely, Southern Maine made just six field goals in the first half and shot just 18.2 percent (6-for-33). Pitts-Young scored 11 of USM's 18 points in the half.
Trailing by 16, 46-30, with 14:56 to play in the game following a layup from RIC's Campbell, USM put together a 17-5 run over the next seven minutes to pull to within two possessions of the Anchormen, 51-47, with 7:36 to play. Jany started the run with a three-pointer on an assist from Brown, while Brown and Pitts-Young each scored five points. Seeing its lead dwindle to four points, RIC responded with a three from Tamar Williams and a layup from Campbell for a 56-47 lead with 5:49 to play. The Huskies got as close as five points, 61-56, with 1:20 to play on a jumper from Pitts-Young but RIC scored the final five points of the game for the win.
Southern Maine hosts UMaine Farmington on Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) in a non-conference game.