CCRI earns No. 6 seed in NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball National Championships
The Community College of Rhode Island women’s basketball team earned the No. 6 seed out of 12 schools in the 2022-23 NJCAA Division III National Championships, as announced during today’s official NJCAA Selection Show, and will play No. 11 seed Onondaga Community College next Wednesday in the opening round.
The Knights earned one of eight automatic bids by winning their second consecutive NJCAA Region XXI Tournament last weekend in Warwick. Ranked No. 7 nationally, the Knights tip off next Wednesday in host city Rochester, MN, at 7 pm ET. The tournament runs from March 15-18 with all games streaming live on the NJCAA Network.
CCRI is back in the national tournament for the second year in a row; last season, the Knights earned the No. 10 seed in its first tournament appearance in nine year. This year, CCRI finished the regular season 19-6 and at point were ranked as high as No. 4 in the national amidst a 10-game winning streak between November 29 and January 14. Onondaga finished 16-8 this year and earned one of the tournament’s four at-large bids after advancing to the finals of the Region 3 Tournament.
Under the guidance of 2022-23 NJCAA Region XXI Coach of the Year Doug Haynes, the Knights have risen into a perennial northeast powerhouse. Haynes won 12 games in his first season at the helm in 2018-19 and only six the following year, but led a remarkable turnaround in 2021-22 with a team comprised entirely of freshmen one year removed from the canceled 2020-21 season.
The Knights earned five All-Region XXI selections in 2022-23, led by sophomore First Team selections Maggie Schwab (North Kingstown, RI), Ashley Lima (Providence, RI), and Chloe Rayko (Coventry, RI). Freshman Nysia Ortiz (Providence, RI) and sophomore Michelle Moreno (Providence, RI) earned Second Team honors.
Schwab led the Knights with 15.6 points per game and 10.0 rebounds, finishing with 16 double doubles. She also finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation in field-goal percentage (59.4) and ninth in offensive rebounds with 120. Rayko was exceptional from beyond the arc, leading the nation in three-point field-goal percentage (45.3) and sixth in total three-pointers, connecting on 72 in 26 games. Lima started 23 of 25 games and averaged 9.2 points per game and ranked 16th in the nation with 40 blocked shots. Ortiz was the Knights’ top reserve in 2022-23, finishing third on the team with 10.8 points per game, while Moreno started 23 games with a solid, all-around stat line of 8.6 points per game, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.