Warwick, R.I. – March 4, 2019: The CCRI Knights men's basketball team took on the Lions of Gateway Community College in the semi-finals of the Region XXI/District VIII Tournament on Saturday afternoon. A hard-fought battle for a spot in the championship game came down to the wire as the Knights squeezed out a 74-71 victory. The win improves CCRI's season record to 28-3 overall and 25-2 in Region XXI play.
The No. 1 regionally ranked Knights came to the Bunker Hill Community College campus looking to win the program's first Region XXI Title since 2016. The first step towards that goal was a semi-final showdown against the No. 4 seeded Gateway Lions. The two teams have already met twice during the 2018-19 season. The first meeting of the season came back on November 29th and went into overtime where the Knights eventually pulled away 87-75 winners on the road in New Haven, CT. The second meeting at home on February 5th went far more smoothly for CCRI and they walked away with an 86-58 victory.
This meeting would prove to match more of the pacing of the first clash. The Lions pushed hard in the final 10 minutes of the first half and slightly pulled away primarily due to knocking down six three-pointers. The Knights would enter the locker room at halftime trailing Gateway 42-34.
The Knights made adjustments to their defense to take away the perimeter shot as well as apply more pressure to the ball carrier. This proved helpful as CCRI went on a 15-5 run at the beginning of the half and now led 49-47. The lead grew as large as 111 points, 60-49 before the Lions began their comeback. With just 1.3 seconds on the clock and trailing by three points, Gateway was able to inbound the ball but the half-court shot would bounce off the rim as the Knights prevailed 74-71.
The Knights were led by sophomore co-captain JC Santos (East Providence, RI) with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block. Sophomore co-captain Dave Cabeceiras (Warwick, RI) registered 14 points, going 4-8 from three-point territory whilst adding six rebounds and one steal. Sophomore co-captain Peter Wilson (Providence, RI) tallied 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and one steal. Freshman Franklin Udeh (Boston MA) registered his 10th double-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Oscar Iteji (Schenectady, NY) snatched 10 rebounds with seven points, three blocks, one assist and one steal.
The CCRI Knights men's basketball team will next be in action on Sunday, March 3rd at 2 p.m. as they take on the Bunker Hill Community College Bulldogs in the Region XXI/District VIII championship game.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England's largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 15,000 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.