by Joel Gray
Goodman, MS—Frank Branch Coliseum welcomed the SAU Tech Rockets, on Saturday, but the results inside the home of the DIV.-I Holmes Community College Bulldogs were unwelcome to the Rockets.
After streaking to an unbelievable 5-0 unbeaten start in this inaugural season of athletics at SAU Tech, a few misfires later, and the Ladies are 5-3, with a 3-game losing streak, after suffering another tough loss to this Holmes squad. The Lady Bulldogs were only 2-5 coming into the match-up, so they, too, were as hungry as the Rockets for a win. But as both teams applied themselves to the same goal of securing success, they went about doing so in almost opposite ways. The Holmes women dominated in the paint, scoring 66 of their points from close range, while Tech attacked from outside, netting 47 points from long range— 21 of those from beyond the 3-point arc.
There were two short runs by the teams: a 10-0 run by the Bulldogs and a 12-0 run by the Lady Rockets. At one point, the Tech women trailed by as many as 16 points but fought back to narrow the margin. Otherwise, the score remained close, and it was anyone’s game. Tech trailed by 6 at the end of the first quarter, and only 4 by the half. Holmes squeaked out to a 7-point lead at the end of the third, and even though the Rockets, again, never quit—once more outscoring their opponent in the final period—they could only close the gap to five, losing by the score of 88-83.
The Lady Bulldogs had five players score in the double-digits, with Janae Collier leading the way with 22. As a team, Holmes recorded 36 rebounds, 14 assists, and 13 turnovers as they improved their record to 3-5 with the win.
The Lady Rockets had four players in double-digits—Jakhiya Boston with 26, Devena Smith with 19, Alex Parris with 12, and Paige Francis with 11. Additionally, Jakhiya was on fire from 3-point range, sinking five treys in total. Tech matched Holmes with 36 rebounds, but only had 9 assists, while committing 23 turnovers.
Although this is the third straight loss for Coach Andre Williams’ Lady Rockets, every single win and loss this Tech team has savored, or suffered, has come against NJCAA Division-I competition, in this, their first-ever NJCAA Division-II basketball season. That’s 5 wins against 3 losses, thus far. D-II divisional play won’t begin for the Rockets until January 2019. Meanwhile, next up, is a rematch with the D-I Southern University-Shreveport Jaguars, on the road once more. The Rockets got the win, at home, back on Nov. 3, by the score of 88-79, and they certainly are capable of a repeat of that performance.