The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team hosted the Shockers from the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) for a Region XXI clash. An explosive second half saw the Knights get past the Shockers, 113-67. The victory improves the Knights’ season record to 7-11 overall and 5-1 in conference. This is also the CCRI men’s basketball program’s 1,000th win.
The CCRI Knights men’s basketball team held its first conference game of the calendar year Thursday evening. Looking to rebound off back-to-back losses in the CCRI Invitational the prior weekend and with the program’s 1,000th win on the table, Head Coach Rick Harris would continue to push his team hard. A low-scoring affair at first, the Knights were patient on the perimeter, looking for holes in the Shockers’ zone-defense. Moving the ball around the arc eventually opened up holes in the defense.
Leading the offensive charge was freshman Josh Williams (Atlanta, Georgia), who went 4-for-5 from the floor with 11 points and four assists in the first half. CCRI also dominated the boards with 17 team rebounds, led by sophomore co-captain Chris Garcia (Queens, New York) with four at the half.
The Knights began the second half with the 47-37 lead, looking to get into top gear. BFIT continued its zone-defense, and CCRI attacked relentlessly, attempting to widen the gap. Adding to this was the Knights’ ability to score from beyond the arc.
J.C. Santos (East Providence, Rhode Island) had a game-high 22 points, going 8-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-6 from three. Santos also added eight assists and three steals.
Freshman David Cabeceiras (Warwick, Rhode Island) chipped in with three 3-pointers of his own. Williams, who went 2-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc, finished the game with 20 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals.
The Knights stood out defensively, as well. As a team, CCRI swiped 11 steals, almost double that of its 6.4 per game average.
Williams added to Santos’ three steals with three of his own for the Knights.
CCRI showed dominance once again attacking the boards. Of the team’s 35 rebounds, 31 came on the defensive side of the court. Leading the Knights in this effort was sophomore co-captain Igor Almeida (Praia, Cape Verde) with seven, as well as adding 10 points. Every Knight got on the score sheet.
There to see history be made was a man who has made plenty of history for the program himself. Vin Cullen, whose name adorns the fieldhouse, was there to speak with the team and take a few celebratory pictures after the game. Cullen, a longtime Head Coach of the men’s basketball team and current Athletic Director Emeritus, was at the helm for 710 of the 1,000 victories between 1965 and 2002.
Cullen commented on the milestone victory: “Congratulations to Rick Harris and his Knights on gaining CCRI’s 1,000th basketball victory. Coach Harris has done an excellent job of continuing CCRI’s winning tradition which began back in 1965. The program is the best in New England. It looks like Rick and his squad will repeat as New England champions again in 2018. The program has had many successes and milestones in the past. With Coach Harris at the helm, the Knights’ future is even brighter. Go Knights!”
Next, the Knights go on the road to face Central Maine Community College in Auburn, Maine on Saturday at 2 p.m.