Basketball Falls in National Tournament to No. 4 Richland
Warwick, R.I. – March 12, 2020: The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team took on the fifth seeded and No. 4 nationally ranked (NJCAA DIII Poll) Richland College Thunderducks (TX) on Wednesday. The Knights were overpowered by a strong Thunderduck attack and were defeated 91-75. The loss drops CCRI’s season record 23-11.
CCRI came into the NJCAA DIII National Tournament as the 12th seed and a difficult road to the final coming up against an extremely strong No. 4 ranked Richland team. The Thunderducks wasted no time and got out of the gates hot. The Knights were up to the task and were able to keep up with the potent Richland offense. The Thunderducks took a 14-6 lead four minutes into the action. Five minutes later, CCRI battled back and took a lead with 11 minutes left in the first half 19-16.
The largest Knights lead was 10 points with seven minutes left in the half, 31-21. Richland would then go on a 13-0 run to take a 34-31 lead with five minutes left in the first half. At the halftime buzzer, Richland led CCRI 46-38. Sophomore co-captain Elijah Lewis (Bridgeport, CT) led all scorers with 20 first half points with Thunderduck Donovan Souter leading his team with 13.
Richland maintained their momentum from the first half and held a double-digit lead for much of the second half. The Knights trailed by seven points four minutes into the second half, 52-45 but could not get any closer than that. The Thunderducks would walk away with the game 91-75.
Elijah Lewis led all scorers with a career-high 32 points, making six three pointers and adding three rebounds, two assists and one block. Freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence, RI) registered 12 points, 12 rebounds and one assist on the day. Freshman Reece Bullock (Coventry, RI) tallied 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and one block.
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team will play their last game of the 2019-20 campaign on Thursday, March 12th at 11:00 a.m. EST as they take on the No. 9 seeded and No. 12 Nationally ranked Columbus State Community College Cougars (OH) in a consolation game as part of the NJCAA DIII National Tournament.
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 10 varsity, four club programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.