Knights Knock Off No. 5 Bunker Hill 76-70!
Warwick, R.I. – January 28, 2019: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team hosted the No. 5 nationally ranked Bunker Hill Bulldogs Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs were always within striking distance but were never able to overcome the Knights as they held on to win 76-70. The win improves CCRI's season record to 18-3 overall and 15-2 in Region XXI play.
CCRI came into the afternoon matchup in good form, riding a 7-game winning streak. However, their opponents came in on top of a 15-game winning streak and remaining undefeated in Region XXI play. The Bulldogs average a whopping 93.3 points per game and have in past games, dominated the paint ripping down 55.2 rebounds per game. The key for the Knights would be to remain tough around the basket and to force mistakes from the Bunker Hill ball carriers.
From the first basket, CCRI ran either a full court press or their ¾ press attempting to pinch the ball wide and force an errant pass. If the press was broken, CCRI quickly fell into shape and held a strong perimeter. A slower pace game when it came to scoring, CCRI led Bunker Hill 15-10 with 11:34 left in the first half. The intensity never dipped as Bunker Hill matched every CCRI basket made. The teams would go back and forth and at halftime the Knights led the Bulldogs 39-33.
The second half held all the intensity of the first half with the emphasis falling on the big men to continue to attack the boards. Freshman Franklin Udeh (Boston, MA) had eight first have rebounds and led the line for the Knights under the basket. As a team, the Knights would snatch a total of 52 rebounds compared to the Bulldogs 42. Leading the scoring at the halfway mark was sophomore co-captain JC Santos (East Providence, RI) with 10 points and adding four assists. This aided in prolonging CCRI's possessions and leading to more scoring. The Knights never trailed, leading by as much as 10 points with 2:39 minutes left in the game, 71-61. Bunker Hill would battle back but could not overtake CCRI and the Knights would be victorious 76-70.
The Knights were led by sophomore co-captain Peter Wilson (Providence, RI) scoring 21 points and adding eight rebounds, three assists and one steal. Wilson has accrued 403 total points this season which is 18th in the nation in scoring. JC Santos totaled 18 points, eight assists, five rebounds and one steal. Santos' 148 total assist and seven assists per game sits him at fourth and ninth in the nation respectively. Sophomore Oscar Iteji (Schenectady, NY) had a monster second half ending with 16 rebounds, seven points, three blocks and one steal. Iteji has racked up a season total of 55 blocks which is third in the nation and his average of 2.9 per game is good for fourth in the nation. Franklin Udeh tallied 12 rebounds and seven points.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "Great effort by the team today. Our team defense was outstanding and we were successful with our 70 and Under Rule. Not easy as Bunker Hill is a very good team and averaging 90+ points per game. Told the guys before the game that today we needed to stand firm, plant our feet and make a statement about who we were. The team all knew that this game was an opportunity to make a great memory. Very happy to have had the opportunity to watch them up close play such an outstanding game. But it is just one game and we will begin getting ready for STCC Tuesday night."
The CCRI Knights men's basketball team will next be in action on Tuesday, January 29 at 7:30 p.m. as they travel to Springfield, MA to face off with the Rams of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC).
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.