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No. 13 Lady Knights survive 52-48 dogfight with Dean!
The No. 13 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the Bulldogs of Dean College form Franklin, MA for their first Region XXI league game on Thursday night at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse. The Lady Knights survived a scare from the Bulldogs to win by the narrow margin of 52-48. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 8-1 on the season, 2-0 in Region XXI and 1-0 in their league.
The Lady Knights found themselves in a fierce Region XXI battle as the Bulldogs came out of the gates hot while CCRI was a little flat. This led to a quick 13-3 lead for Dean College at the 14:44 mark. Head Coach Kate Lynch commented: "We came out really flat in the first half. We said all week that Dean is an excellent defensive team. They consistently hold teams below their average." The Bulldogs kept a double-digit lead for most of the half but the Lady Knights closed out the half with back-to-back baskets to go in trailing 31-24.
In the second half the Lady Knights chipped away at the Dean lead and took their first lead after back-to-back driving floaters from Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, CT) making the score 34-33 CCRI with 15 minutes left in the game. Dean would retake the lead 40-38 with 9:49 left in the game but Ahnyyah Jackson (Hackensack, NJ) came off the bench to hit a big 3-pointer with 9:30 left to give the Lady Knights a 41-40 lead. Jackson would follow that with a dribble drive to extend the CCRI lead to 43-40 with eight minutes left and an assist to Co-Captain Jess Randall (Warwick, RI) who hit a fade away inside the key to give CCRI its biggest lead of the game 45-40 with four minutes remaining. But like any league rivalry game Dean would not go quietly as they scored the next two baskets to bring the score to 45-44 CCRI with 3:22 remaining. CCRI led 49-46 when Dean’s Chelsea Newman scored from the post to make it a 49-48 game with under as minute remaining before Lexi Barros (New Bedford, MA) sank a HUGE 3-pointer to give the Lady Knights a 52-48 lead. CCRI stopped Dean from scoring the rest of the way to win 52-48.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Lexi Barros with a team-high 12 points, including the game-clinching 3-pointer with six steals and two assists followed by Nyjah Porcher who just missed a double-double scoring nine points with 13 rebounds while adding five assists and four steals. Also helping the Lady Knights was Co-Captain Jahira Smith (Brooklyn, NY) with 11 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a season-high three blocked shots and Co-Captain Jess Randall added nine points and six rebounds while Ahnyyah Jackson and Treedy Ward (Boynton Beach, FL) combined for 11 points including three 3-pointers.
Coach Lynch added after the game: "I thought we executed very poorly all game. We didn't shoot very well and took too many threes in the first half. We settled for long range shots instead of penetrating and moving the ball for the best open look. I am happy with how poised we were at the end of the game. We came out with more energy. These are the types of games that give us experience to push through adversity."
The Lady Knights travel to Batavia, NY to play in the Genesee Cougar Classic over the weekend. On Saturday they will face Niagara County CC at 2:00pm and Sunday they will face the hosting Cougars of Genesee CC at 11:00am.
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.