Warwick, R.I. – January 11, 2016: The CCRI Men’s Basketball team took on Central Maine Community College on Wednesday night. The Knights had a strong offensive showing, but were unable to hold onto their lead. The Knights lost in overtime, 86-83. With the loss the Knights fall to 9-7 on the season.
The Knights started the game strong. Early in the game, the Knights had opened up a 13-point lead behind the sharp shooting of Elijah Vazquez (Woonsocket, RI), who had two three pointers in the opening minutes. The Knights continued their dominance in the first half. Multiple times, Central Maine was able to cut the lead to seven in the first half. Any time this happened, the Knights were able to refocus, and extend their lead back to double digits. With 1:36 left in the first half, Jordan Jones (Worcester, MA) was fouled by a Mustangs player as he attempted a lay-up. The Mustangs player was injured on the play and was unable to continue. Both coaches decided to end the half on this play, as the player received medical attention.
The second half began with Jordan Jones taking his free throws from the previous play to end the half. After hitting both shots, the Knights were ahead 49-31. Quickly, Central Maine fought back. Before the Knights knew it, the lead was cut to seven, at 51-44. Head Coach Rick Harris at this point called a timeout. The Knights came out of the timeout and went on another strong run, extending the lead back to 15. Central Maine continued to fight and was able to cut the lead to 12. The Mustangs then went on a 14-2 run to tie the game. With the game tied at 74, the Knights had the ball with 4.5 seconds remaining. Coach Harris called a time out and drew up a perfect play. The play gave Grant Gillis (Jamestown, RI) an open baseline jumper with one second remaining, but he was unable to convert, and the game headed to overtime.
In overtime, the game went back and forth, with Central Maine landing the final punch. Elijah Vazquez hit a 3-pointer with under 30 seconds remaining to give the Knights a one-point lead. On the other end, a foul was called as two players went up for a rebound. The Mustangs had two shots, and hit both. The Knights were unable to score again, and the Mustangs added another layup as time expired to give them an 86-83 victory. The game was a tough loss for the Knights, as they had many chances to close it out.
The Knights’ scoring was distributed evenly throughout the team. They were led by Adrian La Fleur (Sydney, Australia) who had 17 points, three assists, three steals, and two rebounds. He also went 5-10 from three-point land. Elijah Vazquez had 14 points, with three rebounds and assists. Darryl Flowers (Waterbury, CT) was the sparkplug off of the bench, scoring 11 points on 50% shooting from the field. He also had two steals, three assists, and four rebounds. Alan Guzman (Cranston, RI) saw his first action of the season and hit two three-pointers, giving him six points. He also assisted on four Knights’ baskets.
Coach Harris commented that “Tonight was a very exciting college basketball game. Unfortunately we were not able to finish the job.” He continued by saying “All we can do is regroup and begin preparing for the CCRI Invitational against a tough Genesee team Saturday night.” Coach Harris is speaking of this Saturday, January 14th, when the Knights will take on Genesee at 7pm. The Knights will also play Mercer County CC at 4pm on Sunday as part of the 2017 CCRI Invitational at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse. Come out and support the Knights!
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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.