Knights Push Through Pointers 78-74!
Warwick, R.I. – February 3, 2020: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the UConn Avery Point (UCAP) Pointers on Saturday afternoon. The teams were evenly matched yet the Knights were able to edge out a 78-74 victory over the Pointers. The win improves CCRI’s season record 15-8 overall and 11-1 in Region XXI play.
CCRI came into the weekend looking to bounce back from their first region loss on Thursday against Gateway Community College. The Knights started the better of the two sides, taking a 17-5 lead with 12:20 left on the first half clock. Freshman Mikey Gamble (Hartford, CT) led CCRI through the first 20 minutes with 10 points. At halftime, CCRI led UCAP 36-29.
Both teams struggled for points in the first half and came out in the second half determined to improve on their output. UCAP enjoyed fantastic performances from Tyler Zegray and Cyrus Sprague as they supplied 27 and 25 points respectively. The Knights dominated in the paint where they out-rebounded the Pointers 61-45. Freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence, RI) led the effort as he ripped down a game-high 16 rebounds and improving his average to 13.8 per game, the fourth best in the nation.
CCRI maintained their lead as they matched UCAP’s offensive pace. The Knights were up by nine, 56-47 with 10 minutes remaining but the Pointers began to battle back. The lead was cut to seven points, 69-62 with 3:43 left on the clock which encouraged UCAP. The CCRI lead was cut down to its lowest mark, a mere two points with 2.9 seconds remaining and UCAP at the line for one shot. The corresponding free-throw was missed with CCRI gobbling up the rebound and drawing a foul. The Knights converted both shots from the line and saw out the final second of time to win the game 78-74.
CCRI was led by Mikey Gamble as he scored 18 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Mitchel Noresca led the team with 16 rebounds while chipping in nine points and one assist. Sophomore co-captain Elijah Lewis (Bridgeport, CT) tallied 15 points, going 3-4 from beyond the arc and adding five rebounds, four assists and one steal. Sophomore co-captain Dylan Durante (Johnston, RI) contributed 14 points, going 3-7 from downtown while supplying four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Freshman forward Bereket Janat (Westerly RI) chipped in of the bench with 10 rebounds, five points, one assist and one steal.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "Another Region XXI battle today and down the stretch I expect all of our games to be played with this type of intensity and playoff type feeling. The teams are jockeying for playoff spots as well as trying to secure the best seedings possible. I thought our team did a fantastic job today working through the foul problems we found ourselves in. Bereket Janat continues to get better and better and did an admirable job filling in for Mitchell Noresca and once again Dylan Durante continues to give us the spark off the bench that today enabled us to have just enough to hold off UConn Avery Point’s late surge. We are going to need to keep growing our composure as teams will be coming at us with all they have in these last weeks of the regular season."
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team will next be in action on Tuesday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. as they host the Bristol Community College Bayhawks.
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 programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.