Noresca’s Dominance Negates Northern Essex!
Warwick, R.I. – February 14, 2020: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the Northern Essex Community College Knights Thursday night. The Knights fielded a fresh-faced starting lineup that answered the call and produced an emphatic 101-60 victory. The win improves CCRI’s season record 18-9 overall and 14-2 in Region XXI play.
Returning to action after a weekend defeat to Holyoke, CCRI came to the Vincent A. Cullen Field House looking to make a statement. At odds with that was the unavailability of several regular starters for the Knights. The services of freshman Bereket Janat (Westerly, RI) in particular was called upon after the departure of sophomore co-captains Jeremy Remigio (Providence, RI) and Dylan Durante (Johnston, RI) due to injuries. Janat, which typically plays the big-man role slotted in to the point guard position and ran the offense for much of the game. Fellow freshmen Tyler Cicione (Coventry, RI), Luke Fusaro (Westerly, RI) and Steve DelSesto (North Providence, RI) all contributed valuable minutes to propel the Knights forward.
Northern Essex was able to stay close to CCRI through the opening five minutes before the new-faced CCRI offense took to the fast lane. Freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence, RI) led all scorers in the first half with 21 points, eclipsing the team total of 19 points scored by Northern Essex in the opening 20 minutes. At the halftime break CCRI lead Northern Essex comfortably 43-19.
CCRI ran away with the game in the second half but the main story was not the scoreboard. Mitchel Noresca came into the game with 374 rebounds on the season and the program record sitting at 388 set by Walt “Stretch” Edwards during the 1972-73 season. Noresca ripped down 11 rebounds to get within three boards of the record in the first half. He would match the number in the second half to surpass the CCRI men’s basketball single season rebound record. Mitchel ended the game with 22 rebounds and a total so far in the season of 396 which leads the nation.
CCRI would produce similarly dominate performances all over the court. The Knights shot 62.7% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc. The offensive efficiencies continued with only six turnovers throughout the game. At the final buzzer, CCRI was victorious 101-60.
The Knights were led by Mitchel Noresca as he dropped a career-high 32 points, going 14-17 from the floor while adding 22 rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Reece Bullock (Coventry, RI) was also very impactful while recording his fifth double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds while adding six assists and three blocks. Freshman Tyler Cicione had a career-high 14 points with six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Bereket Janat produced 11 points, shooting 3-5 from three-point range and added eight assists and five rebounds.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: “Great opportunity tonight to see some deserving members of our team be placed in a more front level role tonight. Bereket Janat, Tyler Cicione, Luke Fusaro and Steve DelSesto all did a very nice job supporting the dominant play of Mitch Noresca and Reece Bullock. Championship type teams have that type of depth so it was great to see that develop for us. Hopefully the day of rest will prove to be beneficial for our players who are recovering from some bumps and bruises. Saturday will be a challenging road game at Springfield Tech but I feel great with the way our group has been responding to our Region challenges.”
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team will next be in action on Saturday, February 15th at 3:00 p.m. as they travel to Springfield, MA to take on the Springfield Technical Community College Rams.
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.