Warwick, R.I. – February 12, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the Pointers from the University of Connecticut at Avery Point (UCAP) Thursday evening for a Region XXI non-league game. The Lady Knights defeated the Pointers 88-84 in Overtime. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 14-15 on the season and 5-5 in Region XXI play.
For the second game in a row the Lady Knights were locked in a hotly contested overtime regional contest but this time the Lady Knights came out on top with a tremendous team effort. CCRI was out to exact revenge on the Pointers who beat the Lady Knights 73-62 back in November. The Lady Knights came out of the gates shooting well with back-to-back 3-pointers from Kennethah Harden (Roosevelt, NY) and Mackenzie Brayman (North Stonington, CT) while the Pointers’ Felicia Cabral answered with a three of her own to make the score 6-3 in the early going. Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first quarter with CCRI taking a small 19-17 lead after the first. The Lady Knights played very well in the second quarter paced by the paly of Carol Rodriguez (Pawtucket, RI) who scored eight points and Lyric Artis (Albany, NY) who added six to extend their lead to 10 points 38-28 at halftime.
In the third quarter Avery Point channeled their sister school UConn Huskies with a suffocating full-court man press that totally stifled the CCRI attack. UCAP started the quarter with a 15-0 run to take a five point lead 43-38 four minutes into the quarter. UCAP kept the pressure on and extended the lead to nine points outscoring CCRI 25-6 in the quarter with all six Lady Knights points coming from Kennethah Harden.
Trailing by nine points going into the fourth the Lady Knights needed to dig deep to find an answer. To begin the quarter Mackenzie Brayman who resides the back yard of Avery Point began to assert herself offensively and got to the foul line twice while Harden did her thing and also scoring on an array of inside post moves. CCRI curt into the UCAP lead but still trailed by five points with just over a minute left. Carol Rodriguez made a basket to cut it to three points followed by the second 3-pointer of the quarter from Maritza Gustave (Fall River, MA) to tie the game 69-69 with under a minute left. UCAP answered with a basket from their high-scorer Felicia Cabral who had 28 points for the contest to make the score 69-71 with less than 30 seconds remaining. CCRI then turned the ball over with the shot clock turned-off they needed a defensive stop. CCRI also had fouls to give which they used to make it more difficult for UCAP to get into offense. With about 10 seconds on the clock and UCAP inbounding at half court Alexis Antonacci (Plainview, NY) stole the pass and weaved her way into the key and found an open Mackenzie Brayman who finished in the paint to tie the score 71-71 with 5.6 left. UCAPS Jess Korzec did her best Tyus Edney impression to dribble coast-to-coast to attempt a game winning lay-up but Carol Rodriguez channeled her inner volleyball player to block her shot emphatically and send the game to overtime tied 71-71. Having just played an overtime game CCRI was poised to make a statement and closeout this victory. The Lady Knights closed out the game scoring 17 points in the five minute overtime period to win by the final count of 88-84.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Kennethah Harden with her second 30-point game in a row scoring a game-high 32 with 11 rebounds while adding four steals and three assists. Harden’s single-season rebound record now stands at 369 for the season while she has scored 533 points to put her No. 23 on the CCRI All-time scoring list passing Jenny Kinney who scored 515 points. Carol Rodriguez had another excellent game charting a double-double while scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds with three assists and two blocked shots. Connecticut Native Mackenzie Brayman also played well versus the Pointers with 14 points including 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime when CCRI needed it most which included the basket to send the game to OT while adding four rebounds. Also helping CCRI was Lyric Artis with 13 points, six assists, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, Maritza Gustave with six points on two fourth quarter 3-pointers and 11 rebounds and Alexis Antonacci added six points, six assist and four rebounds and a key steal.
The next game for the Lady Knights will be next Wednesday February the 17th when they face the Bulldogs of Dean College at 6:00pm for their final Region XXI league game.
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.