WARWICK, R.I. – January 25, 2018: The CCRI men's basketball team hosted UConn-Avery Point (UCAP) of Groton, CT on Thursday evening for a Region XXI matchup. A slow first half was followed by a more dominant second to put the Knights past UCAP 78-57. The win improves CCRI's season record to 10-11 overall and 7-1 in conference.
The CCRI men's basketball team came out in their second game of three this week looking to expand on their three-game winning streak. The first half saw little scoring for either team with the halfway score going the way of UCAP 26-25. Kevin Paygai (West Warwick, RI) led the line for the Knights with 10 points in the first half. The second half would open up as CCRI were finally able to get into top gear.
The Knights jumped out of the gates quickly taking the lead back from UCAP 38-31 less than three minutes into the half. The defensive scheme implemented by CCRI Head Coach Rick Harris started to take shape and have the desired effect. Coach Harris: "Little slower start for us tonight than we would like but I thought it was our best defensive effort of the season. 14 steals and six block shots so the guys were very active defensively tonight." Leading the Knights in steals was Drew Ferguson (West Greenwich, RI) with four. The two big men for CCRI, Igor Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) and Oscar Iteji (Schenectady, NY) both registered two blocks in the game. Almeida also added six rebounds and three steals to his tally whilst Iteji added eight rebounds to his.
The second half saw more than double the points scored for CCRI than that of the first. Kevin Paygai had a game high 24 points, going 10-13 from the floor and adding in five rebounds and three assists. Josh Williams (Atlanta, GA) had 20 points with five rebounds and five assists. Williams went 6-8 from the floor and 2-5 from beyond the arc. Every member of the CCRI men's basketball team contributed points to the effort. This balance saw the Knights outscore UCAP 53-31 in the second half on their way to a 78-57 win over UConn-Avery Point.
Coach Harris commented after the victory: "Overall, we forced about 20 turnovers so we're not quite the Rhody Rams, but we are making progress. It was also nice to see everyone contribute and get their name in the scoring column. Hopefully the guys continue to work harder and get a little better each day."
UP NEXT: The Knights will host Orange County Community College from Middletown, NY for clash Saturday Jan. 27 at 2 PM.
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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.