Warwick, R.I. – February 24, 2015: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team hosted the Rams of the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School for their final regular season game at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse on Monday evening. With the victory CCRI ends the regular season with a record of 14-13. The Rams of NAPS fall to 8-10 with the loss.
CCRI sophomore Tri-Captain Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, CT) connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the game into overtime as it tied the score at 74-74. From there sophomore Tri-Captain Malieke Young (Providence, RI) scored eight of his 20 points in overtime to propel the Knights to a thrilling 93-86 overtime victory. The Rams closed out the first half with a 10-4 run to take a 42-33 lead into half time. CCRI kept the score close in the second half as Young sank a 3-pointer with 2:28 left to take give the Knights a brief 71-70 lead. However, Navy Prep regained the lead and took a 74-71 lead on two free throws from Aaron Briggs. With 13.2 left in the game the Knights got the ball back and were able to tie the score as Jernigan sank a 3-pointer off the glass as the buzzer sounded bringing the home crowd to their feet in excitement!
As the overtime period began fellow Tri-Captain Malieke Young took over the game immediately sinking a 3-pointer followed by critical free throws while scoring eight of the Knights 19 overtime points to help CCRI outscore NAPS 19-12 in OT to win by the final count of 93-86. In a game of contrasting styles the Knights inside-outside attack was just too much for the hot outside shooting attack of NAPS who sank and incredible 18 3-pointers for the game including an impressive 8-11 from beyond the arc from Nate Messer.
Leading the way for the Knights was freshman center Grant Gillis (Jamestown, RI) with 22 points and eight rebounds and Malieke Young charted a double-double with 20 points including five 3-pointers and 10 rebounds. Also helping the Knights was Anthony Jernigan who scored 12 points and dished out six assist while also hitting the heroic buzzer-beating trey. Sophomore Tri-Captain Jerome Harris (Hartford, CT) had eight points and seven rebounds and a blocked shot Freshman Marshall Nelson (Perth, Australia) added 10 points including two 3-pointers and Mahda Brewah (Dover, DE) added eight points and five rebounds.
After the thriller Head Coach Rick Harris commented: "This was an excellent win for our team. We played great defense when we needed to and we hit some big outside shots after pounding the ball inside to Gillis for most of the game. This should prepare us well for the region playoffs next Sunday."
The next game for the Knights will be next Sunday March 1st when they will face Region XXI rival Dean College (19-2) the location and time to be determined. Seeding note: if Massasoit CC beats Dean College there is a chance (coin flip) CCRI could host the Region XXI game on Sunday at the Cullen Fieldhouse in Warwick, RI time TBD. However, if Dean wins the game will be at Dean College in Franklin, MA time TBD.
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.