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Lady Knights defeat Dean 77-70 in OT!
The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team traveled to New Rochelle, NY to participate in the Region XXI/XV Super Regional. In the first round the No.2 seed Lady Knights faced the No. 3 seed Bulldogs of Dean College from Franklin, MA. CCRI defeated Dean 77-70 in overtime. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 18-11 on the season and win their 9th consecutive Region XXI Championship. The Lady Knights will advance to the tournament championship game Sunday versus the host Monroe College Mustangs, who was the winner of the No.1 seed Monroe College versus No.4 seed Orange County Community College game 109-35. The tournament championship game will be played Sunday March 4th at 4:30 pm at the Monroe Athletic Center (MAC) in New Rochelle, NY. Both Monroe College and CCRI will advance to the District N-O championship tournament next weekend to be played at the Region XIX champion Union County College in Cranford, NJ. Union defeated Lackawanna College 60-53 in the Region XIX championship game Saturday. (NOTE: location may change. Union County College has earned the right to host as champion but the bracket and location of tournament have not been released by Region XIX at time of release)
The Lady Knights had defeated the Dean Bulldogs twice already this year and knew they would be in for a tough game because it is very hard to beat a good team three times. CCRI began the game well and looked like they would have an easy contest as they went into halftime with a 40-23 lead. However, Dean opened up the second half with a 25-9 run draining four 3-pointers from beyond the arc. In the second half the Bulldogs shot an amazing 58% from beyond the 3-point arc on 7-12 shooting while the Lady Knights shot just 28% from the field on 11-40 shooting from the floor. The Bulldogs outscored CCRI 42-25 in the second half. Dean took its only lead of the game with less than one minute to go in the second half 65-63. CCRI called its final timeout to draw up a play to free-up Co-Captain Jahira Smith (Norwich, CT). Smith executed perfectly as she drove to her left and finished under pressure to tie the score 65-65 with six seconds left on the clock. Dean had an open look at the top of the key that rimmed in and out forcing overtime with the score deadlocked at 65-65.
CCRI took a 67-65 lead in the opening minute of overtime. With the score 70-68, Celina Rosa (Plantation, FL) came-up with a huge steal at half court which resulted in a lay-up by Jess Randall (Warwick, RI). The Bulldogs would score once more as the Lady Knights would seal the victory at the free throw line. The Lady Knights outscored the Bulldogs 12-7 in overtime to pull out the 77-70 hard-fought overtime victory.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, CT) who led all scorers with an impressive double-double consisting of 21 points, including 3-3 from 3-pointland, with 16 rebounds while adding four assists and Co-Captain Jahira Smith (Norwich, CT) also charted a double-double with 13 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and four steals. Also having a big game for CCRI was Jess Randall (Warwick, RI) who added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals, Krista Trenholm (Hope Valley, RI) just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds and Moe Plummer (Fairfield, CT) added 10 points one assist and a steal.
Head Coach Kate Lynch commented after the hard-fought victory: “We played a great first half defensively. Dean came out hard and tough in the second half. We knew they wouldn’t go away and they didn’t. I am very proud of our young ladies. They stayed poised and focused during Dean’s runs. They earned the right to advance.”
The Lady Knights return to action for the Region XV/XIX Super Regional Championship game versus defending national champion and No.10 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) Mustangs of Monroe College Sunday March the 4th at 4:30pm at the MAC in New Rochelle, NY