The Division II Knights of the Community College of Rhode Island (18-11) hosted the Division I Avengers of ASA College (15-6) for the Knights’ final home game of the season on Saturday. The Knights pulled-off the upset victory just before the storm in the Northeast with a 75-73 thriller at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse in Warwick, RI.
Saturday was also 2014 CCRI Sophomore Day as they honored their six sophomores playing their final home game at the Cullen Fieldhouse: Kevin Marmolejos (Queens, NY), Elijah Okagbare (Atlanta, GA), Co-Captain Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT), Co-Captain Rudy Brito (Pawtucket, RI), Co-Captain Anthony Henry (Danbury, CT), and Co-Captain Pat Marchand (Cranston, RI).
The Avengers of ASA College got out to an early lead, up by nine points 19-10 at the midway point of the first half before the Knights began closing the gap. Behind the three point shooting of Malieke Young (Providence, RI) who was six of 10 on the day from beyond the 3-point arc and Kevin Marmolejos who was three of eight from long range helped CCRI close the halftime deficit to 37-35 ASA.
In the second half, CCRI use multiple zone and man-to-man defenses that seemed to keep ASA off-balance. The Knights took their first lead of the game 40-37 on a 3-pointer from Malieke Young just a minute into the second half. Neither team had more than a four-point advantage in the last 15 minutes of the game. ASA was up 69-67 with 4:30 left before CCRI went ahead on a free throw 72-71 by point guard Anthony Jernigan with 1:00 left in the game. ASA's Rutgers-bound guard Bishop Daniels put the Avengers back up 73-72 with 13 seconds left in the game on a drive to the basket. CCRI came down and worked the ball into 6"8" Center Pat Marchand who missed his first two shot attempts but continued to battle under the boards. After missing his second, he got the offensive rebound and put-back while being fouled with just 4.8 seconds remaining. He calmly made his free throw and the Knights held on for the 75-73 upset victory.
Leading the way for the Knights was the hero of the day, sophomore Co-Captain Pat Marchand, with a team-high 18 points with six rebounds and freshman Malieke Young who also scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, with four rebounds and three steals. Young was unconscious from beyond the 3-point arc on Saturday shooting six of 10. Also helping the Knights was sophomore Anthony Jernigan who had 11 points and eight assists and sophomore Kevin Marmolejos who added 14 points including three 3-pointers with five rebounds and three assists. ASA’s Bishop Daniels led all scorers with a game-high 22 points.
With the win, CCRI finishes with a 3-2 record vs Division I opponents this year. The Knights’ next game will be versus their Region XXI rival Bulldogs of Dean College on Thursday night at 6:00pm to determine the No. 1 seed and host the Region XXI Championship game.
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.