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Knights knock-off No. 2 Roxbury 79-71 in OT!
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the No. 2 ranked (NJCAA DIII) Tigers of Roxbury Community College from Roxbury Crossing, MA to the Cullen Fieldhouse for a Region XXI interleague game. The Knights prevailed in donnybrook that was tied 66-66 at the end of regulation as they gutted-out the win in overtime 79-71. With the victory the Knights improve to 14-8 overall and 8-2 in Region XXI play.
This game was ripe with anticipation for both teams as the Division III Tigers of Roxbury had a two-game winning streak on the Division II Knights coming into the game having won last year 78-60 and in the first game of this year 88-75. However, the Knights were not going to let the high-powered DIII squad with one loss come into their house and taste victory this year.
The first half was a seesaw battle with no team establishing a clear advantage with the Knights going into the halftime break with a narrow 39-35 lead. In the second half, the Knights took a quick 10 point lead 54-44 only to have the Tigers of Roxbury battle with tremendous 3-point shooting from Tyrus Weaver to take a 56-54 lead with under 10 minutes left in the game. The Knights regained the lead 64-63 with 2:05 left in regulation on 2-2 free throws from Co-Captain Bryan Yarce (Cranston, RI). The Knights extended their lead to 66-63 with 38 second left on a floater in the lane by Co-Captain Desmond Williams (Torrington, CT). The Tigers would not go quietly as with 12 seconds remaining Roxbury's Asim Beazer hit a long range contested 3-pointer to tie the game at 66-66. The Knights tried to win the game in the final 10 seconds but another floater from Williams rimmed out Roxbury got the rebound and called timeout with 5.8 but the Tiger’s final shot was after the buzzer with regulation ending tied at 66-66.
In overtime Roxbury scored first to take a 68-66 lead in the first minute but the Knights would outscore 13-3 over the remainder of overtime to secure the 79-71 victory The Knights were spearheaded by clutch free throw shooting from All-American Desmond Williams who was 7-9 from the charity stripe and scored nine points total in the five minute overtime to ensure the Knights’ dramatic victory.
The Knights were led by three of their Sophomore Captains: Desmond Williams charted a double-double scoring 33 points including 14-18 from the free throw line while grabbing 11 rebounds and adding four blocked shots three assist and two steals. Williams scored 30+ points for the second game in a row and now has 1,110 points for his career and needs just 29 points to surpass Willie Washington to be No. 4 on the CCRI All-time scoring list. Co-Captain Bryan Yarce scored 13 points while dishing-out eight assists with two steals and a blocked shot, Co-Captain Isaac Medeiros (Johnston, RI) scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Freshman Pat Marchand (Cranston, RI) charted a double-double scoring 10 points while ripping down 10 boards.
CCRI Head Coach Rick Harris commented after the game, "Another team victory for us tonight as we got major contributions from everyone that got into the game. Our goal for the game was to play our best game of the season to-date against a very tough opponent, and we did. The team is getting better every game and now is the time to be playing our best ball as we prepare for the games against our Region XXI rivals Massasoit and Dean."
The Knights next games will be this weekend: Saturday the 26th when they will host the Lions of Nassau Community College form Garden City, NY at 3:30pm and Sunday the 27th when they will host the Sharks of Suffolk County Community College from Selden, NY at 2:0pm.
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.