Warwick, R.I. – December, 5. 2016: The CCRI Men’s Basketball team traveled to Long Island City in New York on Saturday to take on the Red Hawks of LaGuardia Community College. The Knights were unable to come out with the victory, dropping the game 101-91. The loss moves the Knights’ record to 5-2.
The Knights started off the game how they had wanted, playing tough defense. LaGuardia CC averages 94 points per game, and the Knights were able to hold them to 24 in the first 13 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, the Knights were unable to find their scoring groove and build a lead. With seven minutes remaining in the first half, the Knights and Red Hawks were knotted up at 24 a piece. The Red Hawks quickly went on a 17-8 scoring run, putting the Knights down 41-32. The Knights fought back, and were able to cut the lead to four at halftime, 46-42.
The Knights came into the second half looking to score and take over the game, but they were unable to. LaGuardia employed a tactic of constant pressing and had a relentless running game which the Knights could never take control of. The Knights stayed around and continued to fight, but halfway through the second half, the Red Hawks went on a 13-6 run, extending their lead to 15 points. The Knights put up a great effort, never giving up the fight. They believed they could win the whole game.
Even with the loss, many Knights’ players had strong outings. Kevin Paygai (West Warwick, RI) led the team with 22 points, while going 9-10 from the field and shooting 4-7 from the line. He also chipped in four rebounds and five assists. Edvaldo Ferreira (Praia, Cape Verde) had 20 points while shooting 8-12 from the field and going a perfect 4-4 from the line while adding 13 rebounds and had seven blocks on the defensive end. Grant Gillis (Jamestown, RI) and Adrian La Fleur (Sydney, Australia) each contributed 12 points for the Knights.
Head Coach Rick Harris noted that the team prepared for this style of play during practice, but the live game is much different and it is a learning experience for the team. He continued by saying “The young men need to play our brand of ball which focuses on defense first and controlling tempo without inside and outside offensive attack. We played well in many areas but you will not win many games giving up 101 points and committing 26 turnovers.”
The Knights will look to turn it around on Thursday when they travel to Worcester, MA to take on the Wyverns of Quinsigamond.
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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.