Knights Victorious in Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse Sendoff!
Warwick, R.I. – February 27, 2020: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the Holyoke Community College Cougars for the first round of the Region XXI playoffs Wednesday night. The Knights defense kept a potent Cougar attack at bay and earned their team a 76-67 victory over Holyoke. The win improves CCRI’s season record 21-10 overall and 17-3 in Region XXI play.
Wednesday night saw the end of an era. The last scheduled CCRI contest in the gym that has held CCRI athletics for 50 years. The night served as the men’s basketball team’s “Alumni Night” as members of the squad past and present made the last night something special.
The visiting Cougars certainly held nothing back after the pregame festivities and took an early lead 17-13 eight minutes in. Holyoke was led by Michael Castillo and Moashaun Alvarado with 11 and 10 first half points respectively. The Knights balanced perimeter efficiency with strength in the paint to battle back and take a 22-20 lead with five minutes left. Sophomore co-captain Dylan Durante (Johnston, RI) provided nine points all scored from beyond the arc while freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence, RI) contributed eight points in the opening 20 minutes. CCRI held a five-point lead at the halftime break, 36-31.
The gap between the teams opened in the second half as the defensive strength of CCRI took hold of the game. Michael Castillo and Moashaun Alvarado average 20.3 and 21.5 points respectively with both being held below their averages. CCRI led the entire second half, starting quickly to take an 11-point lead, 42-31 just two minutes into the second half. Freshman Mikey Gamble (Hartford, CT) supplemented 11 second half points and Mitchel Noresca provided 13 points. The dominance in the paint paved the way for the Knights as they took the game by a final score of 76-67.
CCRI was led by Mitchel Noresca ripping down 22 rebounds and dropping 21 points and supplying one steal, one blocked shot and one assist. Noresca has re-written the CCRI record book for rebounding while also becoming a potent scoring threat for the Knights. He has 19 double-doubles on the season including eight in a row. In addition, Noresca has six games with 20+ rebounds and CCRI record 466 rebounds (Walt “Stretch” Edwards 388 in 1973) on the year while averaging 15 per game! Mikey Gamble tallied 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Sophomore co-captain Jeremy Remigio (Providence, RI) produced 12 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and one block.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: “Solid victory tonight as we had to grind out the win against a team that was playing as well as any team in our league of late. Our defense, I felt worked very hard and made Holyoke earn everything they got. At the offensive end we executed well and got the shots we needed to get in a playoff game. The game’s slowdown was due to defensive focus at this point in the season, yet I felt we did a very good job running our sets and working for good shots. Also, nice having Mikey Gamble and Mitchel Noresca on our side tonight. They gave us an outstanding inside outside combination all night long that seemed to wear the visitors out as the second half moved on. On to Saturday vs high scoring UConn Avery Point. Our defense will need to be at its very best!
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team will next be in action on Saturday, February 29th at 4:00 p.m. as they take on the UConn Avery Point Pointers in the Region XXI semifinal hosted at Massasoit Community College.
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 10 varsity, four club programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.