The Knights fell to nationally ranked NJCAA Division I Monroe College, 82-59, Sunday night on the second day of the CCRI Invitational. With the loss, the Knights fell to 13-7 overall and remain at 7-2 in Region XXI play.
The Knights looked to be in good shape, storming out to a 29-12 lead near the midway point of the first half. During that run, Malieke Young (Providence, RI) had eight points for the Knights, including two three-pointers. However, Monroe battled back to cut their deficit to just two points, as the Knights took a 37-35 lead into the half.
The Mustangs continued their strong play into the second half, outscoring the Knights 47-22. Thanks in large part to upping their defensive intensity; Monroe was able to force the Knights into quick shots and to commit several turnovers.
Coach Rick Harris added, "This game was a tale of 2 halves. We came out totally focused and intense to start the game and that showed in our first half performance. Unfortunately, we were not able to sustain that intensity in the second half. You have to give credit to Monroe too. They are a big, strong, talented team that is battle-tested in tight ball games and they simply refused to lose. Like all games, we’ll take away the positives we learned from this game and work to improve our weaknesses as we get ready for the next contest."
The Knights were led by Rob Skinner (Winsted, CT), who finished with a team-high 14 points. Young was right behind him with 13 points, while co-captains Anthony Henry (Danbury, CT) and Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT) finished with 10 points apiece.
Monroe’s Nehemias Morillo led all scorers in the game with 16 points.
The Knights will return to action on Tuesday, as they travel to Quinsigamond CC (5-10) for a 7:00 p.m. start.
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.