Warwick, R.I. – November 26, 2018: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team traveled to Garden City, NY to take on the No. 2 ranked (NJCAA DIII Poll) Lions of Nassau Community College in the first game of the NCC Thanksgiving Classic. A slow start was quickly followed by domination as the Knights went on to win the game tidily 86-69. The win improves CCRI's season record to 5-1 overall whilst being 4-1 in Region XXI play.
The Knights showed the effects of a four-and-a-half-hour bus ride Saturday as the host Nassau Lions jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and later improved upon it, 14-4. CCRI would gather themselves and take control over the remaining 14 minutes in the first half, outscoring Nassau 37-19. This was sparked by the three-point shooting of freshman Dylan Durante (Johnston, RI). Durante nailed three shots from beyond the arc in four trips down the court. This added to freshman Jason Palmer's (Narragansett, RI) 12 first half points gave CCRI a 41-33 lead at halftime.
CCRI started the second half well, playing flowing defense to offense basketball and grew their lead to 19 points, 56-37 just six minutes into the second half. CCRI's lead was never threatened and they took home the big road victory 86-69.
Jason Palmer recorded his first collegiate double-double as he led all players in scoring, racking up 24 points with 15 rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Tri-Captain Peter Wilson (Providence, RI) scored 15 points with seven rebounds, six assists and one steal. Sophomore Tri-Captain David Cabeceiras (Warwick, RI) dropped 13 points with seven rebounds, one assist and one block. Sophomore Tri-Captain JC Santos (East Providence, RI) chipped in 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "Very nice win against last year's DIII National Finalist. Our team played great defense and we kept composed early when we got out of the gate slow. The goal now is to put two very good games together which we will need to do to defeat Suffolk on Sunday".
The Knights jump back into action, away at Nassau Community College as they face the Suffolk County Community College Sharks on Sunday at 2 p.m. in their second game of the NCC Thanksgiving Classic.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England's largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 15,000 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.