men playing basketball

Arkansas Baptist Buffaloes Suffer Take Down by the Rockets

By Joel Gray

Camden, AR—SAU Tech’s women and men took to the hardwood of Shaddock Fieldhouse on Saturday (2/9) for their non-conference return games with the Division-I Arkansas Baptist College Buffaloes. Earlier in the season, both Rockets squads had picked up wins against ABC—on the road, in Little Rock. On that January day, the Lady Rockets had dominated the Lady Buffaloes doubling-up on them, 54-27, while the Rocket men had prevailed by 8 points, beating Arkansas Baptist’s men by the score of 71-63.

The rematches were near-mirror-images of the original outings as SAU Tech’s women doubled down on the their defeat of the Lady Buffaloes, blasting them again—this time 74-36. Afterward, the men’s teams squared-off for their turn—in a much more evenly-matched contest—and once again, the Rockets slipped by the Buffaloes in a close one, winning 86-80.

In the women’s game, Tech leapt to an early lead, outscoring ABC 18-5 in the first quarter, then 20-8 in the second, for a halftime lead of 38-13. The Lady Buffaloes played a little closer after intermission, but were outscored 17-13, and 19-10 in the final two stanzas respectively. The 74-36 victory improved SAU Tech’s women to 10-5 in their first season of basketball, with all but one of those wins, coming against Division-I junior colleges.

The Lady Buffaloes only had one player in double-digits—Charnita Williams, with 10—while the lady Rockets had four in that category, led by Brandashia Hargraves with 18, including two 3- pointers. Following her was Haggar Caldwell (13 points, including two 3s), and Devena Smith and Jakhiyah Boston, both of whom had 12 points each.

The more competitive men’s game saw the Rockets reach the half with a 13-point lead, 44-31, but the Buffaloes battled back, outscoring Tech in the second half by 7 points, 49-42, but that tally wasn’t enough to eclipse the Rockets’ early advantage.

Arkansas Baptist had two men to score in double-digits, Carl Smith and Devonta Harkless. both with 19. LaDarin Ceazer also hit for 3 treys.

For the Rockets, four scored ten or more. Jaland Mitchell led the way with 21, followed by Will Bynum (18), Manny Anderson (16), and Cam Akins (15).

The Tech men improved to 16-9 with the win.

Next up for the Rockets squads is the rematch with Region 2 Conference member North Arkansas, on Saturday, 2/16, in Harrison, AR. Both Tech teams fell in their first matchups with the Pioneers, and look to even the series this time around. The Lady Pioneers are currently ranked #6 in the nation, and have already clinched the conference title. Tip-off is set for 2 pm.