12.01.12: The No. 15 ranked CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the No. 1 ranked Panthers of Johnson County Community College (JCCC) on Saturday. In a battle of undefeated teams the Lady Knights lost to the Panthers 60-56. With the loss the Lady Knights fall to 7-1 on the season.
The Panthers jumped ahead of the Lady Knights quickly 16-4 after seven minutes with hot shooting and rapidly changing defenses. The Lady Knights didn’t have an answer early for JCCC and found themselves trailing 20-9 at the 11:22 mark. Johnson County took a 35-26 lead into halftime. The Lady Knights were led in the first half by Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, CT) with nine points and six rebounds and Treedy Ward (Boynton, Beach, FL) who had nine points on three 3-pointers to keep the Lady Knights within 10 points and in striking distance. In the second half the Lady Knights found renewed energy as they used multiple switching defenses which stifled the Johnson County rhythm to chip away at the Panther lead. The Lady Knights cut the lead to 56-54 with 2:30 left on two free-throws from Co-Captain Jahira Smith (Brooklyn, NY). The Lady Knights tied the game 56-56 with 2:15 left on a driving left handed lay-up from Lexi Barros (New Bedford, MA) bringing the Cullen Fieldhouse fans to their feet! Johnson County got a steal basket from Sameia Kendall with 1:10 left to take a 58-56 lead. The Lady Knights had a couple chances to tie the game but could not convert and with 30 second left JCCC took a 60-56 lead on a put-back by Kathleen Brisbane. The Lady Knights had a few looks at the basket as time expired but they rimmed out as they fell by the final score on 60-56 in a tremendous game!
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was sophomore Nyjah Porcher charted a double-double with game-highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds followed by Co-Captain Jahira Smith with 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Also helping CCRI was Lexi Barros who did a little bit of everything with 12 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and two assists, Treedy Ward added nine points on three big first half 3-pointers that kept the Lady Knights in game and Co-Captain Jess Randall (Warwick, RI) added six rebounds and five points including a huge second half three pointer during the Lady Knights’ comeback. For Johnson County Kathleen Brisbane led them with 16 points including 12 in the second half and seven rebounds.
Head Coach Kate Lynch commented after the game "We are all disappointed of course. To come that close against the No. 1 team in the country and not come out with the win is tough to take. Our players really wanted this game badly. They were determined and focused all week. They wanted to show the country just how good they can be and despite the loss, I think we did exactly that. We got a lot of open looks in the first half and just did not knock them down. That happens from time to time, but I am really proud of the way they came out and took over in the second half. I thought we controlled the game for the most part. We weathered their runs and made some runs of our own. Defensively, I thought we did a very good job against their transition game. To suffer a four point loss to the No. 1 team is nothing to hang our heads about. We have some big games coming up that we need to prepare for and I really think this was a game that will prepare us for March."
The Lady Knights’ next game will be Thursday December 6th when they will host the Bulldogs of Dean College at 6:00pm for their first Region XXI league game. They will be followed by the Knights who will face dean at 8:00pm at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse located on the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 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.