Tag: SAU Tech Lady Rockets

man with college students

SAU Tech Names Lady Rockets Head Coach

Camden, Arkansas-Southern Arkansas University Tech announced earlier this morning in a Facebook LIVE announcement that Aramie Brooks has taken the position of head coach for the Lady Rockets.
Brooks, 33, is a graduate of Earle High School in Arkansas and has been working for SAU Tech as a recruiter, assistant men’s coach, and for part of the 2019-2020 basketball season, interim women’s coach. Brooks graduated in 2006 from high school after a basketball career that included being named All-Conference, All-District, All-State, and Regional MVP. After high school, Brooks played for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith for two years and then transferred to Northwestern State in Louisiana, where he played ball and graduated with a bachelor of science degree.

Brooks left the US to play overseas basketball for the next eight years of his life, returning to see family. It was during one of his visits home that his daughter asked him when he was going to come home to stay. Brooks wanted to stay connected to the game and get closer to home. His grandmother suggested that he consider coaching, and Brooks applied to SAU Tech in 2018 for the head coach of the Lady Rockets. He was not hired for the job but was instead hired as a recruiter and assistant men’s coach under Coach Levinson.

During the 2019-2020 season, a coaching change brought Brooks on as an interim coach for the Lady Rockets. During this time, he was able to lead the team to win games, and the Lady Rockets made it the championship game for the NJCAA Region 2 Division II playoffs despite the team’s rocky season start.

David Mcleane, SAU Tech Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Athletic Director, had this to say about Brooks. “As Athletic Director, I have heard several coaches and athletic directors make positive comments about the great job Coach Brooks has done in elevating the level of play by the Lady Rockets. When Coach Brooks took over the team, they were struggling, and under his leadership, the Lady Rockets were able to win five of eleven games. They tied for second in conference play and went one to one against the number one seed during the regular season. The Lady Rockets finished second in the Region II Conference playoffs.

When asked what he sees for his future and the future of the Lady Rockets, Brooks said, “My future goal for the team is to develop a championship-caliber team. I want to focus on developing them as both athletes and future citizens. I want the team to be involved in our community as well as myself. For my personal goals, I want to pursue my master’s degree in the future.”

Dr. Jason Morrison says that “Coach Brooks fits the SAU Tech high-intensity mindset which drives success. He is extremely motivated to be successful, and it shows on the court and in the classroom of the Lady Rockets.”

Brooks is dedicated to his family and enjoys the time he spends with his two daughters.

female basketball players

Lady Rockets take the Coahoma Tigers

by Joel Gray

Clarksdale, MS—Coach Andre Williams’ 8-4 Lady Rockets began their final five-game stretch of the 2018-19 season by facing-off for a rematch with the Division-I Lady Tigers of Coahoma Community College on Thursday night (1/24). The Tigers had been beaten once already by SAU Tech’s women— way back on opening night (11/2), in Camden—and had had a tough go ever since, coming into the rematch with a 5-10 record. It was a hard-fought contest on the home-court hardwood of The Pinnacle, but the Rockets rose above the road-trip challenge, taming the Tigers, once more, to the tune of a 68-57 victory.

The Lady Tigers displayed an early determination not to drop another game to the Division-II Tech women, eeking-out an 18-16 lead by the end of the 1st quarter. By halftime, however, SAU Tech’s desire to secure the two-game series sweep had driven them, from behind, to forge ahead of Coahoma by 4-points, 37-33. Then it was toe-to-toe throughout the 3rd quarter, with Tech only able to tally two more points than the Tigers, inching forward for a 49-43 lead. But the Lady Rockets rallied in the 4th quarter, extending their advantage by 5 additional points, resulting in the 11-point win.

Coahoma’s women fell to 5-11 on the season, of which they finished 0-2 in their contests with Tech. In this tough second loss, the Lady Tigers recorded two players in double-digits, with Ariana Thigpen leading the way with 20. Two other Tigers managed multiple 3-pointers: Khiyee Robinson had 4, while Essence Lambert totaled 2 treys.

The Lady Rockets rose to a record of 9-4 with their 3rd consecutive victory and their 8th defeat of a Division-I opponent. A total of three Tech women tallied double-digit scoring. Jakhiya Boston was good for 12, including 2 buckets from beyond the arc. Devena Smith also sank enough for 16 points on the night. But by-and-large the team was bolstered, this night, by the above-and-beyond basketball prowess of one Brandashia Hargraves.

Brandashia entered the arena as the national leader in 3-point-percentage shooting. And her offensive skills certainly contributed considerably to the Lady Rockets’ success, hitting for three more treys and tallying a total of 21 points to lead Tech’s scoring. Nevertheless—despite this ball-to-bucket display—it was Brandashia’s defense that doomed the Lady Tigers to defeat. In an inspiring and powerful performance, she played the boards for 8 defensive rebounds, broke up attempted scoring plays with 4 big blocks, and even managed to sneak in 1 steal to seal the deal.

Coach Williams and his Lady Rockets return home, to Shaddock Fieldhouse, in Camden,AR, next Friday (2/1), for a 5 pm tip-off in what will be their biggest game of the season to date—a Region 2 Conference challenge against the #6 team in the nation, the 16-4 North Arkansas College Lady Pioneers.

girls

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.