CCRI falls short in quarterfinals of NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championships
Despite a strong effort from sophomores Maggie Schwab (Narragansett, RI) and Ashley Lima (Providence, RI), the No. 6 seed Community College of Rhode Island (22-7) women’s basketball team came up short Thursday against No. 3 Rochester Community and Technical College (25-1), 67-52, in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Division III National Championships at the Rochester Regional Sports Center.
The Knights now shift to the consolation round, where they play No. 2 seed Fulton-Montgomery Community College at 3 pm ET. CCRI needs two wins to finish fifth in the tournament. All remaining games both in the consolation and winner’s bracket stream live on the NJCAA Network.
Schwab finished with 10 points and four rebounds Thursday while Lima led the Knights with 12 points and 11 boards. CCRI got off to a strong start and led by six at end of the first quarter and by three at the half, but the Yellowjackets turned the tide in the third quarter, led by forward Olivia Christianson, who scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the second half.
Christianson opened the third with a three-pointer to tie the game and followed with a jumper to give Rochester its first lead. The Knights continued to fight and trailed 42-41 with 2:10 to go in the third following a jumper by Alyssia O’Hagan (Woonsocket, RI) before the Yellowjackets closed the quarter on a 7-0 run.
Rochester continued its surge at the start of the fourth courtesy of another three-pointer by Christianson and a bucket from Jada James to open up a 13-point lead. The Yellowjackets eventually led by as many as 15 down the stretch. The Knights cut their deficit to eight on a three-pointer by the nation’s No. 1 three-point shooter, Chloe Rayko (Coventry, RI), but failed to score again and went scoreless over the final 4:41.
Sophomore Michelle Moreno (Providence, RI) finished with eight points, six assists, and eight rebounds. After dominating the boards in their opening-round win over Onondaga on Wednesday, the Knights were out-rebounded 43-29 by Rochester and shot just 19 percent from three-point range (4-for-21), a far cry from the regular season when they led the nation in three-point field-goal percentage (35.2).