Tag: Lady Rockets

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The Rockets Blast the Nighthawks

By Joel Gray

Hot Springs, AR—The Spa City and the National Park College Nighthawks hosted both the Women’s and Men’s teams from SAU Tech, Thursday (1/17), for a Region 2 Conference “clash on the court,” and the Rockets returned to East Camden with remarkable wins once again. The Ladies prevailed over NPC by the score of 82-56, while the Rocket men notched another victory with a tally of 95-88 over the Nighthawks.

Coach Andre Williams’ 7-4 Lady Rockets took the floor for their first Region 2 Conference game against a 3-7 National Park squad that had already lost their first league game and was, therefore, hungry to have a win. And it didn’t seem far-fetched that they’d get it after Tech’s slow start allowed the Lady Nighthawks a 20-17 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the second period saw a near- complete shutdown of the Nighthawk offense, as the Tech defense only allowed NPC to find the bucket for 4 more points before the half, at which time the Rockets led 32-24.

By the end of the third, the Nighthawks had closed to within only three, trailing Tech 45-42. But in the final period the Lady Rockets ignited for an impressive 37 points, bolstered by the heady play of Jakhiyah Boston, Brandashia Hargraves, and Devena Smith. NPC could only answer with an additional 14 points, fixing the final tally at 82-56 in the Lady Rockets’ favor.

National Park had only two ladies in double-digits, led by Faith Bratton’s 18 points. Hailee Crosby also hit for two 3-pointers. The Lady Nighthawks drop to 3-8 on the season, and 0-2 in the conference.

SAU Tech’s women get a win in their first Region 2 Conference game and improve to 8-4 overall in their first season on the court. In the win over National Park, the Lady Rockets had four players in double-digits, led by Brandashia’s 24. Jakhiyah scored 16, and Devena was close behind with 15, followed by Alex Parris’ 10. Jakhiya and Brandashia also sank three treys apiece.

Next up for the Tech Women is a non-conference rematch, on the road, with the D-I Coahoma Community College Tigers, who have the dubious distinction of being the first victim of Rocket Victory, falling to SAU Tech in their first-ever game, back on Nov. 2, in Shaddock Fieldhouse, by the score of 71-57.

Following the Lady Rockets’ 82-56 win over NPC’s women, Coach Marty Levinson’s 11-7 Rocket men hit the hardwood of The Gym Complex in Hot Springs, (Thurs., 1/17), as the Region 2 leader, having already notched a conference victory against ASU-MidSouth in their first league outing. They also were riding a 5-game winning streak—undefeated since the Christmas break—and looked to continue to add Ws to the win column.

10-1 National Park, however, hoped to have a say in that matter. The Nighthawks had just suffered their first loss of the season, to North Arkansas, which had also made them 0-1 in Region 2 play, so—in a four-team league—some might have seen the need for an NPC victory as a necessity.

By halftime of the contest, the outcome was still highly in question, as both teams had played toe-to-toe, with the Nighthawks nursing a narrow 1-point lead at the break, 43-42. But the second half saw Region 2 Points Leader, Sheldon Steven, light the fuse and explode from long-range, burning the net off the hoop with five FGs from beyond the arc. His teammates were ignited as well, and the Rockets rallied for a 95-88 win.

National Park had four players in double-digit scoring, led by Patrick Greene’s 26. Two Nighthawks managed multiple threes: Greene with 2, and K.J. Corder with 2 also. NPC falls to 10-2 overall, and 0-2 now in conference play.

In their sixth straight win, the Rockets had four in double-digits. Steven led the way with 27,

followed by Jaland Mitchell with 20, Mike McAllister-Boatright with 14, and Will Bynum with 10. Steven had a total of six 3-pointers to his credit on the night, and Bynum added two more treys to the mix.

SAU Tech improves to 12-7 overall, and—more importantly—2-0 in the Region 2 Conference. Next stop for the Rockets will be in Clarksdale, MS for a non-conference rematch with the Coahoma Tigers, a Division-I team that has already suffered a loss to the Rocket men, back on opening night in Shaddock Fieldhouse, when Tech began their first season of basketball with a huge 69-61 victory over the Tigers.


Lady Rockets Bounce Back

by Joel Gray

The Lady Rockets of SAU Tech ended their 3-game skid Saturday afternoon in the Health & Physical Education Complex against the Southern University Shreveport Lady Jaguars, bouncing back in a big way by the score of 85-58. The Lady Rockets improved their record to 6-3 on the season, while Shreveport continued winless on the year, falling to 0-9.

This was the second meeting of the two teams, as the Division-I Jaguars had already visited the Rockets, back on Nov.3, for the SAU Tech Tip-Off Classic inside Shaddock Fieldhouse where the D-II Lady Rockets prevailed by 9 points to pick up their second victory in what would grow to be a 5-0 start in this, their first year on the court for the first female NJCAA basketball team for SAU Tech. The return game at Shreveport turned out to be even more satisfying as Coach Andre Williams’ Lady Rockets turned it up to outpace the Jaguars by a margin of 27.

The game remained fairly close for a half, with Tech leading by 9 at the end of the 1st quarter, 26-17, but only by 7 at halftime, 41-34. Then Devina Smith’s 15-point 3rd quarter, combined with Jakhiya Boston’s and Haggar Caldwell’s barrage of 3-pointers put the Rockets up by 17 at the end of the 3rd, 64-47, before stretching the lead for the final tally. SAU Tech had four players in double-digits, with Jakhiya racking up 26 total points on the strength of her five 3-pointers for a very impressive performance. Devina, Haggar (three 3-pointers), and Alex Parris (two 3-pointers) scored 15 each as well.

The Lady Jaguars had three players in double-digits, with Sha’Tera Batton on top with 20 points. She also hit on two 3-point attempts.

This will conclude the 2018 portion of the Lady Rockets’ 2018-19 season, as they do not play again until Jan. 7 when they travel to Wesson, MS for the return game against the Division-I Copiah Lincoln Lady Wolves. The 8-1 Wolfpack took the Lady Rockets to task in the Shaddock back on Nov. 29, going on a 103-77 tear that the Rockets would love to avenge as they start the second half of the season and prepare for their important Region II Conference play which commences in January as well. Only then will the Lady Rockets face, for the first time, teams from their own Division-II classification. Thus far, all of their losses—and, more importantly, their victories—have come in competition with Division-I opponents. The idea is that when Region II play arrives, the Rockets will be ready.

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Lady Rockets Face Another Tough Game

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.

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Rockets Experience Tough Homecoming

by Joel Gray

Camden, AR—Shaddock Fieldhouse was the happy site of punch and cake and college memorabilia as SAU Tech celebrated its 50th birthday with a homecoming night of basketball. Their guests from Wesson, MS, however—the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolves—showed up to shut down the “feel-good” in the fieldhouse.

The NJCAA Division-II Rockets, in their inaugural season on the court, have battled through a brutal schedule, thus far—all Division-I opponents for the women; and nearly the same for the men. So for homecoming, one might expect to see a Prep team on the schedule, for perhaps an easy win, right? Well, not at SAU Tech. Copiah-Lincoln is another Division-I junior college, and nothing about these homecoming games was going to be easy for the Rockets.

The Lady Wolfpack came in undefeated at 6-0 and wasted no time in proving to the Rockets’ fans why that was so. They were big and strong and fast and asserted themselves from the outset. The Lady Rockets had difficulty rebounding against the Wolves, providing the visitors with multiple opportunities underneath the basket. Also, the quickness of Copiah-Lincoln was quickly realized, but not-so-quickly countered, as they continued to steal and intercept the ball throughout the contest.

The 5-1 Rockets were only trailing by 7 points at the end of the first quarter, but the Wolves stretched that to 18 by the half, then 27 by the end of the third. If there was a bright spot for the Lady Rockets at all, it was that they continued to fight, managing to outscore the Wolfpack in the fourth quarter 25-24. Nevertheless, the outcome was never really in question, and the Copiah-Lincoln ladies improved to 7-0 with the 103-77 victory over Tech.

The Lady Wolves had four players score in double-digits, with TaMara Riley leading the way with 20. They also had three players with multiple 3-pointers—Azaria Magee had three.  The Lady Rockets had three players in double-digits—Devena Smith with 26, Hagger Caldwell with 11, and Alex Parris with 11. Only McKenna Christler could sink from 3-point range, but she only managed to hit twice for 6 points.

It was a tough night for the SAU Tech women, as they suffered their 2nd loss in a row, falling to 5-2 on the season. Next for the Lady Rockets is another Division-I opponent, on the road, Sat., Dec. 1st, when they take on the 2-5 Holmes Community College Bulldogs.

As tilted as the court seemed to be during the women’s game, the balance was restored when the men took the floor. The Copiah-Lincoln men came in at 6-1, having only lost their season-opener, and they, too, proved to be big and strong and fast. The Wolves established early that lobbed passes would be promptly picked-off. But the 6-4 Rockets were ready for the challenge and played their usual style of fast and physical basketball. Immanuel Anderson’s multiple slam-dunks helped to keep the Rocket crowd roaring, and at halftime, Tech had a 1-point lead at 39-38.

The second half saw more of the same. Each team had had short runs of 6-8 points in the game, but now it was toe-to-toe and point-to-point. With the homecoming audience on their feet, it was the Rockets’ Immanuel Anderson with a last-second layup to tie the game at 79 and send it into overtime.In the additional 5 minutes, however, it was a devastating 3-pointer from the Wolves’ Miles Daniels that helped to provide a margin the Rocket men couldn’t overcome, and Copiah-Lincoln held on to get the win by the score of 91-87.

The Wolfpack improved to 7-1 with four players shooting in the double-digits. Damarius Brooks led the way with 16. They also had four with multiple 3-pointers, Miles Daniels leading the way with three—including that crucial one in overtime. The Rockets also had four players score in the double-digits: Immanuel Anderson with 23— including three slam-dunks—Sheldon Steven with 20, Mike McAllister Boatright with 17, and Malik Miller with 16. Only two Rocket men, however, could fire true from 3-point range. Sheldon Steven was accurate for four 3-pointers, and Malik Miller added one more.

It was an outstanding effort, particularly in the second half, where the Rockets had proven to have some trouble in previous games; nevertheless, it goes in the loss column. The Tech men are now 6-5, with all of their losses coming against Division-I teams. It is expected that the brutality of their early schedule will be of great benefit when Division-II divisional play begins in January.

Meanwhile, however, it doesn’t get any easier for the Rockets’ men’s team. Next—Sat., Dec. 1st—they join the Lady Rockets in Goodman, MS to take on the 5-2 Division-I Holmes CC Bulldogs. The only team to have beaten Copiah-Lincoln this season. The #13 team in the nation.