The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the No. 6 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) Bulldogs of Dean College from Franklin, MA for a Region XXI Division II conference showdown at the Cullen Fieldhouse. After a close first half Dean College outscored the CCRI Knights 51-37 in the second half to earn a 94-81 victory. With the loss CCRI's record drops to 8-3, 5-2 in Region XXI, and 1-1 in the conference. The Bulldogs keep their undefeated season alive to go 11-0 with the victory.
The Knights got down early trailing 17-7 just five minutes into the game. Dean held a 12 point lead with 11:02 remaining in the half leading 27-15. But the Knights used aggressive defense to get back into the game and tie the game 32-32 with five minutes remaining in the half on a steal and fast break lay-up by Billy Soriano (Providence, RI). Both teams battled back and forth until the Knights took a 44-43 lead into the halftime break.
Unfortunately the Knights were unable to sustain their intensity and Dean turned up their own level of play to dominate the second half. The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 11 points 66-55 half way through the half and was able to sustain that lead with aggressive defense and attacking the basket on offense. In the end, the Bulldogs were able to pull away and win by the final score of 94-81.
Leading the way for CCRI was Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT) with 23 points, including two 3-pointers, four assists and two steals. Also having a big game for CCRI was Co-Captain Pat Marchand (Cranston, RI) with 16 points and five rebounds, Kevin Marmolejos (Queens, NY) with 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and Billy Soriano added eight points and four rebounds. Dean had four players score in double figures led by Charles Correa's (St. Raphael/Pawtucket, RI) 18, including 16 in the second half.
The next game for the Knights will be next weekend when they travel to Batavia, NY to play in the Genesee Community College Holiday Tournament. On Saturday they will face the Cougars of Genesee CC at 8:00pm and Sunday they will face Niagara CC at 1:00pm.
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.