12.06.12: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the No. 9 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) Bulldogs of Dean College on Thursday in a Region XXI league rivalry match-up. The Knights defeated the Bulldogs 87-76. With the victory the Knights improve to 5-3 on the season 2-2 in Region XXI and 1-1 in their league.
The Knights knew they were going to be in for a tough Region rivalry battle with the No. 9 ranked Bulldogs of Dean College who came into the game with an excellent 6-1 record including a 4-0 regional record. The Bulldogs showed why they were ranked highly as they quickly started the game by jumping ahead of the Knights 5-0. However, the 2012-13 version of the Knights showed they will be a tough out on their home court at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse. The Knights dug deep began playing their patented fierce defense and created scoring opportunities while limiting the opportunities for Dean. From there the Knights caught fire and reeled in the Bulldogs to take a commanding 47-37 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs showed resilience in the second half as the clawed their way back into the game to tie the score 58-58 at the 12:41 mark of the second half. Dean took a 62-58 lead on a basket by Shay Agboola with 9:30 left in the game. The Knights looked to their team leaders and got results as Co-Captain Bryan Yarce (Cranston, RI) went 2-2 from the line to tie the game at 62 with 8:57 left followed by a 3-pointer by Co-Captain Desmond Williams (Torrington, CT) which gave the Knights a 65-62 lead with 8:30 left. From there the Knights played great team defense to stifle the Bulldogs attack and pull away by the comfortable 87-76 victory.
Leading the way for the Knights was Co-Captain Desmond Williams scoring a game-high 23 points with five steals and three assists followed by Co-Captain Bryan Yarce with 14 points and eight assists. Also helping the Knights was Co-Captain Isaac Medeiros (Johnston, RI) charting a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Co-Captain Steve Bevilacqua (Exeter, RI) with nine points on 3-7 shooting from the 3-point arc. Rounding out the Knights’ attack was freshman Pat Marchand (Cranston, RI) with six points and seven rebounds and Rob Alers (Central Falls, RI) scored eight points on 6-10 free throws while helping Yarce run the point.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented after the game “Nice team victory for our young men. We needed 14 strong tonight as Dean was red-hot coming into the game. This was an important division victory for us and hopefully will jump start us to a strong weekend in Batavia, NY against Niagara County CC and Genesee CC at the Cougar Classic.”
The Knights will travel to Batavia, NY to play in the Genesee Cougar Classic Saturday they will face Genesee CC Saturday at 8:00pm and Niagara County CC Sunday at 1:00pm
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.