Warwick, R.I. – January 29, 2018: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team hosted the Colts of Orange County Community College form Middletown, NY for a basketball game on Saturday afternoon. The Knights outlasted the Colts in a back-and-forth high scoring donnybrook 100-89. With the victory the Knights are now back to .500 at 11-11 for the season.
If you like scoring games this was the game to see. Both the Knights and Colts unleashed their high-octane exciting brand of ball which basketball which was a great way to kick-off the big day of hoop at the Cullen Fieldhouse. As the game began you could see that both teams had many ways to get to the basket to score and they utilized all those avenues to pour in point after point. The first half saw the Colts take advantage of the their slight height advantage inside as Bobby Olsen was able to use a myriad of inside moves and also put back other missed shot attempts for the Colts as he scored 13 first half points aided by sharpshooter Josh Mitchell who scored 12 of his team-high 27 points in the first half. But the Knights had their own one-two punch and then some as their leading scorer Josh Williams (Atlanta, GA) went to WORK. Williams poured in a career-high 34 points. He scored 17 first half points as he was able to breakdown defenders at will score at the basket while on the defensive side the Knights had Kevin Paygai (West Warwick, RI) who had a team-high five steals while also scoring 13 first half points which helped CCRI to a 49-41 lead going into the halftime break.
In the second half Orange County began finding their long-range shooting eye to sink 11 3-pointers and keep the Knights on their heels led by Josh Mitchell who sank five deep threes in the second half. In fact in the game the Colts scored more 3-pointers (17) than 2-pointers (15). The Colts also got five additional threes from the pair of Erick Block and Kierre Davis which gave CCRI a formidable challenge. However, Josh "scores at" Williams was there to answer the call pouring in 17 more second half points breaking down defender after defender to convert acrobatic lay-up after acrobatic lay-up. In the second half Williams was assisted by JC Santos (East Providence, RI) who scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half including two 3-pointers. Also helping CCRI in the second half were the frontcourt duo of Co-Captain Chris Garcia (Bronx, NY) and freshman Oscar Iteji (Schenectady, NY) who quieted the efforts of the Colts' low-post threat Bobby Olsen by ripping down a combined 13 rebounds and scoring 15 points between them.
Leading the way for the Knights was Josh Williams with career-high 34 points with five assists, four rebounds and a steal. Williams has been a tour-de-force for the Knights scoring in double-figures in while being ranked No. 26 by the NJCAA in scoring with 20ppg. Williams is also leads CCRI with 5.6 per game while being ranked seventh in total assists in the NJCAA with 123 "dimes" on the season. Also having a big impact in the Knights victory was JC Santos scoring 23 points including four 3-pointers and three assists. Rounding out the Knights' top performers was Kevin Paygai with 16 points, six assists, five steals, and five rebounds while Co-Captain Chris Garcia and Oscar Iteji combined for 15 points and 13 rebounds.
CCRI Head Coach Rick Harris commented after the big victory: "Fun day with our 11th win of the season and the CCRI HS shootout. Real pleasing for me to watch our young guys come together here down the stretch. Very rewarding team basketball for me to watch and coach. Josh Williams and JC Santos put on a show and everyone did their job!"
The next game for the Knights will be Saturday February 3rd when they will host the Lynx of New Hampshire Technical Institute for a game at 1pm.
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The Community College of Rhode Island, New England's largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 16,000 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.