The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the No.8 Nationally Ranked (NJCAA DIII Basketball Rankings) Hostos Community College Caimans on Sunday evening for their final game of the 2020 CCRI Invitational. The Knights fought all game long but fell just short, losing the contest 82-79. The loss drops CCRI’s season record to 10-6 overall.
After a heartbreaking defeat the day before in overtime, CCRI looked to get redemption against a quality Caimans team. The opening 20 minutes was slow in terms of scoring but lacked nothing when it came to grit. Both teams battled immensely hard and stayed neck and neck for the entire first half. As the teams headed into the locker rooms, CCRI held a slim 36-33 lead over the Caimans.
The second half saw both teams begin to knock down more of their shots. The potent Hostos offense which averages 93.4 points per game and is ranked sixth in the nation started to push the pace to a higher level than CCRI has yet seen. Led by Reggie Quezada who amassed a game high 32 points, Hostos began to pull away from the Knights as they took a 72-66 lead with 5:39 left on the clock. With 20.1 seconds left in regulation, CCRI had pulled within one point, trailing 80-79 but Hostos would score one more basket and stop CCRI to win the game 82-79.
CCRI was led by sophomore co-captain Elijah Lewis (Bridgeport, CT) as he scored a career-high 26 points, shooting 4-6 from three-point land while adding seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block. Freshman Mitchel Noresca (East Providence) had a career day under the basket with an incredible 20 rebounds while adding 14 points and one block for his second double-double of the weekend. Noresca has now brought his season total to 208 rebounds which is the best in the country and averages 13.0 rebounds per game which is the sixth best. Freshman Mikey Gamble (Hartford) registered 12 points, draining two three-pointers and chipped in seven rebounds, five assists and one steal. Freshman Steve DelSesto (North Providence) contributed 12 points from the bench shooting 4-6 from the floor, 1-2 from beyond the arc and added a further three rebounds to his tally.
Head Coach Rick Harris commented, "Great weekend for our young me. It didn't show in the win column, but the experience we gained against Westchester and Hostos will benefit us greatly in region play. Proud of how hard our guys played and the many great plays that were made by them. Looking forward to Massasoit, Wednesday night, here at CCRI."