Warwick, R.I. – January 12, 2015: The CCRI Knights hosted the 2015 CCRI basketball invitational over the weekend. In their first game the Knights took on the Vikings of Mercer County Community College Saturday night at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse in Warwick. The Vikings defeated CCRI 77-61 to improve to 9-3 on the season. With the loss the Knights record drops to 9-8 overall and 9-1 in Region XXI play.
The first half was played closely but Mercer was able to close out the half with a nine point lead at 37-28. The Vikings kept that lead until CCRI closed the gap to seven points with the score 49-42 with 11:18 remaining in the game. But Mercer was able to put together a 10-2 run at the nine minute mark to up their lead to 63-47 and with 7:09 to play and the Knights could not mount a challenge thereafter.
Leading the way for the Knights was freshman center Grant Gillis (Jamestown, RI) who charted a double-double scoring 20 points while ripping down 11 rebounds. Sophomore Tri-Captain Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT) contributed 17 points and three assists. Also making an impact was freshman CJ White (Danbury, CT) who scored seven points and grabbed six boards.
After the contest Head Coach Rick Harris noted:" We played a very good team tonight. They executed very well and our defenses weren't able to contain them. Offensively we needed to get the ball inside to Grant (Gillis) more often but our passes were not effective. Well regroup and get ready to play another very good team tomorrow. We'll try to improve our weaknesses and give a better effort."
The Knights will play powerful NJCAA DI Mustangs of Monroe College in the second round of the tournament Sunday at 6:00pm at the Cullen Fieldhouse.
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.