The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team continued their play in the Mercer Mixer at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, N.J. on Sunday and beat Brookdale Community College, the third-ranked team in NJCAA Division III, 70-44. CCRI moved to 3-2 with the win.
The Lady Knights got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing by eight points in the opening minutes of play, forcing head coach Kate Lynch to call a quick timeout. The CCRI players responded and went on a 15-point scoring run and never looked back. The Lady Knights' pressure defense was just too much for Brookdale to handle, with the defense getting 10 steals, 16 deflections and three blocked shots.
Freshman co-captain Jahira Smith (Norwich, Conn.) led all scorers for the second straight day with 21 points while ripping down nine rebounds and swiping five steals. Smith was helped by Nyjah Porcher (New Britain, Conn.) with 12 points, six rebounds, two steals, and four assists. Jess Randall (Warwick) added 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Rounding out the Lady Knights’ attack was Ashley Welly (Coral Springs, Fla.) with 10 points and four rebounds while “Treedy” Ward (Boynton Beach, Fla.) added eight points, including two 3-pointers, five rebounds and a game-high six assists.
"I am very happy with our effort today,” said head coach Kate Lynch. “I was pleased with our defensive pressure. We have been working on being more consistent on the defensive end. I think we did a lot of positive things during the tournament. We also had a lot of bench production the last two days, which really helps us out. Everyone can contribute on this team."
The win over Brookdale was the second in a row for the Lady Knights, who beat Mercer 71-38 on Friday. CCRI began the game strong, jumping out to a 10-point lead within the first seven minutes. From there, the Lady Knights never looked back, going halftime with a 19-point lead. It was more of the same in the second half, as CCRI cruised to the 33-point win.
Smith scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Lady Knights, and she also notched nine rebounds, five steals and five assists.
Porcher added 14 points, Lauren Masse (Woonsocket) had eight, Monique Plummer (Fairfield, Conn.) had five and Welly scored four.
Knights’ defense too much for Orange County
The No. 11 ranked CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the Colts of Orange County Community College on Saturday and rolled to a 74-54 victory to improve to 6-0 on the season.
The game shaped up as a defensive battle, with CCRI ranking first in the nation in points per game allowed and Orange County ranking second.
Defense dominated in the early part of the first half, but both teams adjusted and CCRI went to halftime with a 30-24 lead.
In the second half the Knights extended their lead to 12 points before Orange used its defense to battle back within five points at 48-43 with just 9:01 left in the game. Anthony Henry (Danbury, Conn.) sank a clutch 3-pointer to give the Knights a 51-43 lead, and the Knights then went on a 9-2 run to take a 60-45 lead. From there, the Knights’ multiple defenses and fresh legs were able to hold off the Colts as the Knights cruised to the 74-54 victory.
Eleven players scored for the Knights, led by Desmond Williams (Torrington, Conn.), who had 22 points, six steals, five assists and three blocked shots. Bryan Yarce (Cranston) ran the point flawlessly with eight points, eight steals and five assists and Isaac Medeiros (Johnston) chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds and a blocked shot.
Rounding out the Knights’ attack was Henry with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal while co-captain Nick Maglio (Barrington) added eight points, including two 3-pointers. Trevor Mabry (Norwich, Conn.) led the Knights with eight rebounds while scoring four points with two blocked shots.
“Good perseverance by our guys,” said head coach Rick Harris. “Got off to a slow start but we got away from playing ‘hero ball’ in the second half as evidenced by the 13 second half assists compared to just five in the first half. When we play as a team we give ourselves a great chance of being the best team we can possibly be.”