WALTHAM, Mass. – The visiting Rhode Island College men's basketball team forced host Brandeis into a season-high 26 turnovers today to hold off a second-half charge by the Judges and emerge with a 61-50 non-conference victory in Red Auerbach Arena today. With the win, the Anchormen improve to 5-0 on the season, while the Judges drop their second-straight and fall to 2-3.
Brandeis had the game-high scorer in sophomore sharpshooter Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School), who scored 18 points, nine coming in each half. Retos hit 6-of-12 from 3-point range and is connecting on a 52.4 percent clip from beyond the arc for the season. Senior reserve forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) School) added eight points off the bench. The Judges owned a 35-32 edge in rebounding thanks to 10 caroms from sophomore Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrew's (R.I.) School) and nine by classmate Alex Schmidt (Dublin, Ireland/Fork Union (Va.) Military Acad.).
Rhode Island College put three different players in double figures in scoring. Senior Mason Choice (Newport, R.I./Rogers) led the Anchormen with 14 points, eight coming in the first half. Junior guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, N.Y./Benjamin Banneker) added 12 points and senior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, R.I./Woonsocket) had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench.
While forcing Brandeis into their 26 turnovers, the Anchormen only committed nine miscues of their own, giving the visitors a 29-4 edge in points off turnovers. RIC also owned the offensive glass, 17-10, and turned it into 18 second-chance points to just five for the Judges.
The two squads played a tight first quarter of the contest, with Rhode Island College owning a 13-12 edge at the 10:27 mark after Retos's second 3-pointer of the game. The Anchormen went on their first big run of the contest, outscoring Brandeis 15-3 over the next six-and-a-half minutes. Choice had six points in the run, while sophomore guard Avery King (Pawtucket, R.I./St. Raphael Acad.) had five as the visitors held Brandeis to 1-for-5 shooting with five turnovers over that span. An Akinrola put-back with 3:52 left made it 28-15, but the Judges were able to cut the lead to 10 after junior center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union (N.H.) Acad.) put back a miss at the buzzer to make it 35-25.
After Choice opened the second half with a hoop to push the lead back to 12, Brandeis made its best push. The Judges went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes as two more Retos bombs and a pair of buckets by senior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) made it a 39-36 game with 14:40 left. Akinrola scored for RIC out of a timeout, and the visitors twice pushed the lead back to six points. Trailing 47-41, Brandeis scored the game's next five points, three by sophomore guard Ruben Kanya (Ottawa, Ontario/Bridgton (Maine) Acad.) after he was fouled from deep and two on a Kriskus jumper with 8:52 left that made it a 47-46 game.
The Judges were unable to get over the hump however, getting just one bucket the rest of the way as RIC closed on 14-4 run. The visitors benefitted from six Brandeis turnovers and six offensive rebounds down the stretch to pull away. Carter had a big driving lay-up as the shot clock expired and just over four minutes left to expand the lead to eight, 54-46, and squash Brandeis's comeback hopes.
Brandeis will give head coach Brian Meehan his third chance at career win No. 300 on Tuesday evening against his alma mater, Clark University, at 6 p.m. in Worcester. RIC hosts Johnson and Wales University at 7:30 p.m. the same night.