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CCRI rallies to beat Onondaga in NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships

CCRI rallies to beat Onondaga in NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships

Sophomores Maggie Schwab (Narragansett, RI) and Ashley Lima (Providence, RI) each recorded a double-double Wednesday as the No. 6 seed Community College of Rhode Island women’s basketball team rallied to beat No. 11 Onondaga Community College 72-64 in the opening round of the NJCAA Division III National Championships at the Rochester Regional Sports Center.

The Knights (22-6) advance to the quarterfinals to face host school and No. 3 seed Rochester Community and Technical College (24-1) Thursday, March 16 at 9 pm ET. The action streams live on the NJCAA Network.

CCRI trailed by 13 points with 2:30 left to play in the third quarter and 11 points entering the fourth before closing the game on a 28-7 run. The back-and-forth battle began with the Knights leading by 10 at the end of the, trailing by one at the half, and then trailing by double digits after three before outscoring the Lazers (16-9) 24-5 in the final quarter.

Sophomore Chloe Rayko (Coventry, RI), the nation’s No. 1 three-point shooter in 2022-23, led the Knights with 16 points. Most of the damage came from the free-throw line, where she finished 7-for-10. Schwab, who finished the regular season with the highest field-goal percentage in the nation, scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting with 10 rebounds while Lima scored 14 points and grabbed 12 boards. Freshman Nysia Ortiz (Providence, RI) came off the bench to score 15 points with five steals in 24 minutes of action.

The Knights eked out Wednesday’s win despite being out-shot, but did most of their work on the boards, out-rebounding Onondaga 47-25, including an outstanding 22 offensive rebounds. CCRI withstood a tremendous game from Onondaga’s Hannah Durand, who connected on 12-of-17 shots, including five three-pointers, and finished with a game-high 30 points.

CCRI will have its hands full in the quarterfinals with Rochester, which reigned supreme as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team for nine consecutive weeks and won its first 24 games before losing to eventual No. 7 seed Riverland in the Region XIIIA championship. The Yellowjackets earned one of four at-large bids.

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