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No. 7 ranked Knights Deny Dean 83-59!
The No. 7 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) CCRI Knights men’s basketball team traveled to Dean College in Franklin, MA for a Region XXI rivalry game. The Knights defeated the Bulldogs 83-59. With the victory the Knights improve to 25-4 on the season and 12-1 in Region XXI play. With their next victory they will tie the program record with 26 victories (set in ’77 and ’90) and it will also be the 900th victory by the CCRI men’s basketball program.
The Knights overcame the multiple runs by the hosting Bulldogs to pull away in the second half and defeat their regional rivals from Franklin, MA. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 7-0 advantage before the Knights answered with their own 7-0 run to tie the game 7-7. Dena went on a second 7-0 run to take a 14-7 lead at the 14:30 mark of the first half. The Bulldogs continued to lead until late in the first half when Desmond Williams (Torrington, CT) sank a 3-pointer off an out of bounds play, the ball went in the basket as the halftime buzzer sounded giving the Knights a 42-41 halftime lead.
In the second half the Knights came out in their patented 1-3-1 half-court trap and slowly began to build a lead going up 52-47 at the 15:35 mark. The Knights extended their lead to double-digits with the score 63-52 with 10-minutes left and up over 20 points 75-54 with just five minutes left. The Knights’ runs silenced the raucous hometown Bulldogs’ crowd. From that point the Knights pulled their starters and coasted to the 75-54 victory.
For the first time this season the Knights had three players score over 20 points led by Desmond Williams who was the game’s high scorer with 26 points while swiping eight steals, dishing-out five assists and adding five rebounds. Williams was helped by Isaac Medeiros (Johnston, RI) who started and scored a career-high 25 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds and Co-Captain Trevor Mabry (Norwich, CT) did chart a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while adding three blocked shots. Also helping the Knights to victory was point guard Bryan Yarce (Cranston, RI) who scored seven points while distributing 10 assists with two steals, two rebounds and a blocked shot while sophomore Jeff Schmeltz (Burrillville, RI) got the start and added eight rebounds, a blocked shot and two points.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented after the big regional victory: “We got off to a slow start, due in great part to Dean playing very well in the first half, but our team rode it out. Our composure and team play was evident as we grabbed a one point halftime lead and played Knight Basketball in the second half. We continue to improve with each practice and game and hope to be playing our best basketball of the season come March.”
The Knights next game will be this Sunday at 2:00pm when they host the Division I Avengers of ASA College from Brooklyn, NY. This will also be “Sophomore Day” for the five CCRI sophomores who will be playing their final regular season home game at the Cullen Fieldhouse the five sophomores are: Keith Lackerson(Brooklyn, NY), Jeff Schmeltz (Burrillville, RI), Roger Livramento (Central Falls, RI), Co-Captain Chris Canino (Hartford, CT) and Co-Captain Trevor Mabry (Norwich, CT).