Coming off a year of play with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it wasn’t easy for the Anchormen as they were only able to win one out of the seven total games that they played over the course of their slow and short season.
However, junior guard Shion Darby had something else to say about that on opening day. He led the way with 34 points and shot 48% from the field in the Anchormen’s win over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers (MIT) 81-68.
Darby explains in a post-game interview that the team's momentum going forward last year was very hard to get off the ground due to the unfortunate COVID-19 Pandemic. Throughout the offseason, the team was able to get significantly better in practice and tune into what worked for them and what didn’t.
The offense ran through Darby all afternoon, as RIC shot an exceptional 41% from the field.
Adding to the offensive presence was sophomore big man, Ousmane Kourouma, who chipped in a much-needed four blocks to hold RIC’s large lead throughout the stretch of the game. He also tallied in 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Towards the end of the second half with approximately eight minutes to spare, MIT’s senior guard, Ian Hinkley scored 12 of his 19 points in the second-half stretch, cutting down MIT’s deficit to 12 points from a previous 21. The Anchormen did not seem to take their foot off the pedal until those last eight minutes. Hinkley also totaled in 15 rebounds, which is where the Anchormen struggled towards the end as well.
To contain these types of large margin leads, it all comes from controlling the ball on offense, no turnovers and applying pressure on the defensive end. Sophomore guard Jordan Riley continued to bring that defensive presence with three steals out of RIC’s total of eight, an incredible two-handed block off the backboard late in the game, nine rebounds and added 10 points on the offensive end.
Throughout the Anchormen’s seven game season last year, Riley was able to average 3.1 steals per game. He continues to obtain that momentum through the course of this full season.
Another honorable mention on the offensive end along with Darby and Kourouma, was senior guard Keyshaun Jacobs. He totaled 14 points and three assists to top off the Anchormen win.
Coach Tom Glynn's six man rotation seemed to work great in RIC’s first outing. The Anchormen look to continue their winning streak this week against Eastern Nazarene College here at The Murray Center on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
For more information about the game go to goanchormen.com