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No. 16 Lady Knights win Region XXI/XV Tourney 68-65 in OT!
The No. 16 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the defending National Champion and No. 11 ranked Mustangs of Monroe College on Sunday for the Region XXI/XV Super Regional Championship. The Lady Knights defeated the Mustangs 68-65 in overtime. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 23-4 on the season and are Region Tournament Champions. Both teams advance to the District N/O Championship next weekend March 9-10th to be played at Cabrini College.
Both of these teams are extremely familiar with each other having played six times over the past two years and their games are almost always filled with excitement lead changes and drama and this game was no different. CCRI had to battle back from a 10-point halftime deficit. The Lady Knights trailed 34-24 at the break Monroe got 17 of their points from Ashley Castle. At the half the Lady Knights’ coaching staff had to devise a plan to slow down Castle who was clearly “in the zone.”
The Lady Knights began the second half with renewed vigor led by their leader Jahira Smith (Brooklyn, NY) who quickly put her stamp on the second half with an opening play steal and lay-up to give CCRI the first points of the second half. Smith would continue to lead the Lady Knights back and tied the game with an unbelievably acrobatic lay-up to tie the score 47-47 with a little over six minutes remaining in the game. The Lady Knights were able to take the lead late in the game on took a three point lead 54-51 on a Lexi Barros (New Bedford, MA) 3-pointer and extended the lead to as many as five points late in the second half. But Monroe played with the heart of a champion and with the Lady Knights leading 61-58 with 9.0 seconds left in regulation Monroe's Ly'Nasha Frazier missed 3-point attempt rebounded and put back by Jasmine McRoy, she was also fouled on the play and made the free throw with .2 seconds sending game into OT.
Monroe scored the first OT basket from McRoy to lead 63-61 Nyjah Porcher answered with two free-throws. CCRI went ahead 64-63 on 1-2 free throws from Porcher. The Mustangs answered with a basket from Tiara Brown to lead 65-64 with 50 seconds left but Jahira Smith answered with a basket with 10.9 remaining to put the Lady Knights ahead by the score of 66-65 and Ahnyyah Jackson (Hackensack, NJ) sank two free-throws with .5 remaining to give the Lady Knights the 68-65 overtime victory!
Lady Knights were led by Jahira Smith who scored 25 points with seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. Smith now has 989 career points and is poised to become the first CCRI Lady Knight to reach 1,000 career points! Smith was helped by Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, CT) who charted her 14th double-double of the year consisting of 14 points and an incredible game-high of 22 rebounds. Porcher has 521 career rebounds and needs just 14 to move into second place on the CCRI All-time rebounding list (Rajvi Jarvis 524) and 42 to be in first place (Kris Norberg 562). Also helping CCRI in a big way was Ahnyyah Jackson (Hackensack, NJ) who added 12 points including 8-8 from the FT line in the second half and OT. Jackson also added seven rebounds, two assist and two steals. Monroe's Ashley Castle led all scorers with a game-high 29 points.
Both teams advance to the District N/O Championship next weekend March 9-10th to be played at Cabrini College's Dixon Center located at 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, Pa. (the home court of Region XIX Champions Harcum College located about 10 minutes from the Harcum campus). The tournament schedule is as follows:
Saturday, March 9th
Delaware Tech vs. CCRI, 1:00 pm
Harcum vs. Monroe, 3:00 pm
Sunday, March 10th
Championship game, 1 pm
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.