Knights Clipped by Central Maine 99-98 in OT
Warwick, R.I. – January 21, 2020: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team headed to Auburn, Maine on Saturday afternoon to take on the Central Maine Community College Mustangs (CMCC). The Knights would fall by a single point in overtime 99-98 to the Mustangs. The loss drops CCRI’s season record to 11-7 overall.
The CCRI Knights traveled up I-95 North to face off with the No. 10 ranked (USCAA DII MBB poll) Mustangs for a weekend showdown. CCRI won the first meeting of the season back on December 14th 92-89 off a last second three-pointer by co-captain Elijah Lewis (Bridgeport, CT). This game would also be decided by a last second shot but this time in overtime.
The game started level with both teams going back and forth but never pulling away by more than on possession. Central Maine held a 13-16 lead with 11 minutes left on the first half clock. The Mustangs would begin to broaden their lead off the back of AJ Cunningham who led all scorers with 17 first half points. CCRI were led themselves by freshman Mikey Gamble (Hartford, CT) who tallied 11 first half points. At the halftime mark, The Knights found themselves trailing the Mustangs by 10 points, 46-36. A massive proponent of the was the eight first half three-pointers that CMCC drained compared to the three that CCRI managed in the first 20 minutes.
The second half showed CCRI come out in the second half looking to capitalize more from the perimeter. The Knights would drain seven three-pointers in the second half and was led by sophomore co-captain Dylan Durante shooting 3-6 in the second half from beyond the arc. CCRI would take their first lead after going on a 13-0 run over the course of two minutes, sitting on top 65-61 with 11:12 left on the clock.
The teams would once again go back and forth matching shot for shot with the Knights always holding a slim lead. CCRI once again pushed the pace and opened a nine-point lead, 84-75 over the Mustangs with 2:24 left in the game. CMCC stormed back, tying the game up with two seconds left in regulation. Elijah Lewis had just two seconds to try and work his magic, but his long distance three would not drop and the teams would head into overtime tied up at 85-85.
In the overtime period, neither team slowed down enough for the other to pull away. CCRI held the largest lead of the five-minute period, 98-95 with 1:21 left in the game but could not stop the Mustangs as they made back-to-back jump shots to take a 99-98 lead with just one second remaining. Mikey Gamble received the ball, quickly releasing from distance but the shot would not fall and the Knights would lose the game 99-98.
The Knights were led on the day by Mikey Gamble’s career-high 30 points with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals. Gamble shot 9-19 from the floor and 2-8 from downtown as well as making 10 of 11 free-throws. Freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence, RI) recorded his fourth double-double in as many games as he scored 23 points with 16 rebounds and one assist. Elijah Lewis chipped in 17 points as he shot 3-8 from beyond the arc and added eight rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals in his 40 minute performance. Dylan Durante tallied 14 points, shooting 3-9 from distance and adding four rebounds.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented: “Today was a great exciting game for the fans and one that we will benefit from. Lots of scoring and great plays. Fitting that both of our games with CMCC were decided with buzzer beating game winners. We had today’s game won twice but just couldn’t run the clock out at the very end. Once again [we] missed free-throws with seconds to play which cost us the chance to win. Love this group, they will use this experience to be as prepared as they can for the remaining Region XXI games. Our best is yet to come!”
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball will next be in action on Thursday, January 23th at 7:00 p.m. as they host the Roxbury Community College Tigers.
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.