Warwick, R.I. – February 10, 2015: The CCRI Knights traveled to Middletown, NY on Saturday to take on the 7-10 Colts of Orange County Community College. The Knights lost to the Colts 81-78. The loss drops CCRI's record to 11-12 while OCCC improves to 8-11.
The Knights jumped out early and parlayed that into a 43-35 halftime advantage. During the first half CCRI was able to get the ball inside to their freshman Center Grant Gillis (Jamestown, RI) who was able to score in the paint at will. Also CCRI's defense made the Colts rely on outside shooting for their scoring opportunities. The second half was similar, however, the Colts began to hit more and more outside shots and the Knights lack of defensive rebounding allowed the Colts multiple second chance scoring opportunities. In addition, Orange County's full-court pressure defense rattled the Knights and caused several key turnovers. The Colts tied the game 70-70 with 4:35 remaining in the game then surged ahead scoring five unanswered points to go up 75-70 with just 2:43 to go. The Knights battled back and had a chance to tie the game at 79 when Gillis was fouled on a layup attempt with 2.4 seconds to go. Unfortunately he missed the first free throw hen hit the second to be down 79-78. CCRI set-up their full court press on the inbound and thought they had an apparent steal but a foul was called on Tri-Captain Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT). The foul put OCCC on the line where they made both shots which, combined with a desperation three-quarter court heave by Jerome Harris barely missed to end the game, had them win by the final count of 81-78.
The Knights were led by Grant Gillis who scored a game-high 23 points with eight rebounds followed by Tri-Captain Anthony Jernigan who hit for 18 points while dishing-out seven assists. Also helping CCRI was Tri-Captain Malieke Young (Providence, RI) with nine points on theee3-pointers and Marshall Nelson (Perth, Australia) returned for the Knights to add eight points including two 3-pointers with four assists.
After the game Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "This was a disappointing loss for our team. We need to improve our mental and physical toughness in order to close out games like these. Close games are usually won and lost at the foul line and in the paint. We came up a bit short in those areas today but hopefully the team will recognize the importance of those factors in our upcoming games."
The next game for the Knights will be Thursday at 6:00pm when they will host the Warriors of Massasoit Community College from Brockton, MA a crucial Region XXI showdown.
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.