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Community College of Rhode Island Defeats Dean 68-53 to Win Region XXI New England Basketball Championship
 March 4, 2013

 The Knights of CCRI traveled to Franklin, Ma. Sat. And came back home with their 5th New England Champinship in the past seven years. The New England Championsip was CCRI's 17th overall in the history of the men's basketball program.

#18th ranked Dean College (17-6) hosted the game due to their 3-1 conference record. CCRI (20-11) was 2-2 in conference play but came away Saturday with the 68-53 victory.The Knights trailed in this one just once as Dean opened the game with a three point shot to go up 3-0.CCRI responded by pounding the ball inside throughout the first half, taking advantage of their superior size advantage. This strategy led to a CCRI 41-17 lead at the half.Center Pat Marchand scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and point guard Bryan Yarce added 8 of his game high 17 in the opening frame.

The second half saw Dean come out with extreme full court pressure but they were never able to get the CCRI lead to less than 12 points. CCRI continued to patiently work the ball inside but also received solid perimeter play from their guards Desmond Williams, Steve Bevilaqua, Chris Light and of course Bryan Yarce. Yarce was the game's high scorer with 17 points and he delivered 8 assists. Besides Marchand, CCRI got a big boost from 6' 8" Elijah Okagbare who altered numerous Dean shots as well as chipping in with 4 points, 6 rebounds with 2 blocked shots. All American Desmond Williams was under pressure all day from Dean but still finished with 14 points.

"Today we followed the game plan and played our best defensive game of the season. Two weeks ago we let Dean score 82 points against us in a 82-70 defeat, according to head coach Rick Harris, " Today our guys were locked in on the defensive end. Giving up just 53 points today is a testament to our guys commitment to defending the opponent. This is what gave us a chance to win this championship and I could not be prouder of them. "

The Knights will now face Monroe College ( victorious 98-89 over Erie C.C. in the Region 3 Championship game ) in Rochester, N.Y. next weekend when they play for the District 2 Northeast Championship, with the winner of that game stamping themselves a ticket to the National Tournament in Danville, Illinois March 19-23.




























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