WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — It was all Anchormen from start to finish, as the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team dropped its season-opener to Rhode Island College (RIC), 92-68, in front of a sold-out O'Connell Center Saturday night.
It was a career-defining performance from freshman guard Shion Darby (Peekskill, N.Y.), who dropped 36 points in just his second career game. The 'Big Three' from RIC did most of the damage, as junior guard Keyshaun Jacobs (Lynn, Mass.) added 25 (17 in the first half), while senior forward Benjamin Vezele (Providence, R.I.) finished with 17. The Blue Jays had no answers for the Anchormen, with only sophomore guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) finishing in double figures with a team-high 29. RIC built a 10-point lead in the first three minutes and never looked back.
Score: Saint Joseph 68, Rhode Island College 92
Records: USJ (0-1), RIC (2-0)
Location: O'Connell Center | West Hartford, Conn.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"I think the biggest thing is we need to find out who we are. We looked lost out there tonight, and give credit to [Rhode Island College]. They took advantage of what we wanted to do and beat us down the floor. They were the aggressors and we weren't."
- Jacobs made his first four three-point field goals to give RIC a 20-9 lead with 15:49 left in the first half.
- The Blue Jays made one single run at it, trimming an 18-point lead in half, as Jackson Jr. scored nine straight to make it 30-21 with 8:30 left in the first.
- RIC responded with nine straight points of their own, including a few layups in transition by Vezele, to build the lead back to 18. The Blue Jays never got any closer, as RIC led the whole way and by as many as 33.
NUMBER TO KNOW
7 – The number of consecutive shots the Anchormen made to start the game. Four of them were threes, all from Jacobs.
- The 'Big Three' for RIC combined for 78 of the team's 92 points (85%). The Blue Jays only scored 68.
- Darby dominated off the dribble, scoring off of ball screens and slashing to the rim. He scored 22 in the second half on 8-of-10 shooting.
- RIC shot 12-for-31 from deep (39%), while USJ was only 4-for-21 (19%).
Men's hoops will look to bounce back as they pay Trinity College a visit this Tuesday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Jays played in their program debut at Trinity, defeating William Paterson, 79-74, but have never played Trinity College heading into the matchup Tuesday.