Warwick, R.I. – February 21, 2018: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team traveled to Fall River, MA for their last regular season game to face the Bayhawks of Bristol Community College (BCC). The Knights lost a hard-fought battle in which freshman Josh Williams (Atlanta, GA) broke the program's single game scoring record with 56 points! The final score was BCC 104, CCRI 95. The loss drops the Knights to a 14-14 overall record and a 10-2 conference record.
The Knights met the Bayhawks for a region XXI clash on Wednesday evening. The game had a playoff atmosphere with both teams trying to maintain momentum going into the postseason. Bristol took advantage as they jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead. The Bayhawks would preserve the lead for much of the first half when at the 27-21 score line, the trailing Knights began to claw back. Behind Josh Williams' 22 first half points the Knights took a 39-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Bayhawks once again jumped out of the gates going on a 14-5 run to start the second half. With 8:34 left on the clock BCC led 79-66. CCRI would not back down, behind Josh Williams and Cole Ferguson (Coventry, RI) three point shooting they were able to close the gap. Ferguson went 3-3 from behind the arc in the last six minutes of the contest and added two rebounds and a steal to his nine points. The Knights closed the deficit to six points, 101-95 with 18 seconds left in regulation. CCRI were unable to convert a 3-point play and Bristol hit a three pointer to put the game to rest. As the final buzzer sounded, BCC was victorious 104-95 over the Knights.
The two highlights of the evening were shared between the two side. Bristol played impeccable ball on their Sophomore Day, having six players in double figure scoring. BCC has one game remaining in their season in which they carry a 21-7 overall record with an impressive 20-4 conference record.
The Knights had a fantastic story of their own. A team which normally sees similar dispersion of scoring to that of BCC, Wednesday night saw history instead. Freshman Josh Williams would produce one of the most superb performances in the program's history. Williams went 11-14 for FGs and 6-8 from beyond the arc for an incredible 77% shooting. Adding in his 16-19 from the foul line equates to a record breaking 56 points on the night. The previous record was 49 points set by Brendan Murphy on January 28, 1992.
Other notable performances for the Knights on the night saw Chris Garcia (Queens, NY) score nine points, while adding nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Igor Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) chipped in five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. J.C. Santos (East Providence, RI) added 10 points, five steals and three rebounds. Kevin Paygai (West Warwick, RI) scored six points, while recording four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Head Coach Rick Harris: "Great effort by our guys, they never quit against a very good team on their [BCC] Sophomore Night. I am pleased by the improvement and growth of this team finishing 10-5 in the second semester. Joshua Williams was Jordanesque tonight. I never realized the point number he was at., we needed each and every one of them! Unfortunately, on his historic night we did not get what we really wanted. A great team performance against BCC. We will move forward and look to make some memories later this month."
UP NEXT: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team will take part in the NJCAA Region III Tournament on March 9 where they will face the No. 4 seed. Location and time TBD.
For all things CCRI Athletics, be sure to follow @CCRIAthletics on Instagram and Twitter!
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.