Warwick, R.I. – December 15, 2014: The CCRI men’s basketball team continued play in the Genesee Community College Cougar Holiday Classic on Sunday by playing the Thunderwolves of Niagara County Community College from Sanborn, NY. The Knights won 84-83 in thrilling fashion to improve to 8-5 on the season while Niagara falls to 8-4.
Tri-Captain Malieke Young's (Providence, RI) 3-pointer with six seconds left in the game put the Knights on top 84-83 and a great defensive effort under the boards secured the 84-83 win in the Genesee Community College Cougar Holiday Classic over Niagara County Community College. The game was close throughout the first half as neither team took more than a four point lead until CCRI put together a 15-2 run to close out the first half leading 40-30.
The Knights’ offense stalled in the second half and the Thunderwolves used their size advantage inside to take a 77-73 lead with 3:15 left in the game. The Knights would not quit as they dug deep to fight back to take the lead 81-80 on a 3-pointer by Keshaun Cothran (New Haven, CT) with just under a minute to play. Niagara's Eli Jones tied the score at 81 making the first of two free throw attempts. After a Cothran 3-point missed shot the Thunderwolves Jordan Greenhit a runner in the lane to put Niagara up 83-81 with just seconds remaining. But Tri-Captain Malieke Young hit a huge 3-pointer with just six seconds left to give the Knights an 84-83 lead! The game was not over though as Niagara got one more offensive opportunity on a baseline jumper that they missed and Knights’ sophomore Johnson Weah (Providence, RI) tapped the rebound towards the sideline where Jerome Harris (Hartford, CT) made a spectacular diving play to keep the ball inbounds with a pass to Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT) with two seconds left to secure the victory.
The Knights had five players score in double figures in a balanced attack and also shot very well from beyond the 3-point arc shooting 52% making 13-25 for the game. Leading the way for CCRI was Tri-Captain Anthony Jernigan with 15 points with four assist and three steals and Marshall Nelson (Perth, Australia) hit for 15 points with three 3-pointers with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Also helping CCRI was the hero of the day Malieke Young who scored 12 points, with a game-high four 3-pointers including the game-winner while adding a game-high five assists. Also helping the Knights was Keshaun Cothran with 11 points including three 3-pointers and Michael DeJesus(Cranston, RI) added 10 points including two 3-pointers.
After the win Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "What a great win this was for the team! They were disappointed after yesterday but they responded by playing hard and never giving up today. That shows the character of this team. It was good for us to play in a close game since we're sure to be involved with several more nail-biters this season. We now know what it takes to pull out a game like that."
The next game for the Knights will be when they travel to New Haven, CT to play the Lions of Gateway Community College Thursday the 18th at 6pm in a Region XXI non-league contest.
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.