Final Score: Riverhawks 76, Hagerstown Community College Hawks 84
Updated Records: AACC 7-8 overall, 3-5 conference. Hawks 6-10 overall, 1-8 conference
Location: Anne Arundel Community College – Arnold, MD
Box Score: Found here.
Media: Video here.
The Riverhawk men's basketball team dropped to MD JUCO conference opponent Hawks of Hagerstown Community College, 84-76, this past Wednesday night (1/16) – hosted within the Jenkins Gymnasium of AACC. Credit to the NJCAA DI Region XX Hawks as they found success in their relentless efforts to earn the come-from-behind win over the Riverhawks.
A strong and steady start found AACC leading by favorable margins through the first half but the Hawks of Hagerstown were not ready to give in. Tightening their play at either end of the court late in the half, the Hawks found themselves within 4 points of the Riverhawks with 3:41 remaining on the clock. As the intensity heightened, the Riverhawks would push in their attempts to pull away but the Hawks were now quick to answer. Capitalizing off a steal with a lay-up finish, Hagerstown would then grab their first lead of the game (35-33), with just 1:12 remaining in the first half. Marcus Gaston (Severn, MD/North County) would bury a pull-up jumper for the Riverhawks to halt the Hagerstown lead and tie the game (35-35) as the first half ended.
As the second half took off, the Riverhawks would push the momentum and lead to their favor – but Hagerstown would once again find success in their perseverance; seven minutes through and able to earn the lead, 53-50. Dayvon Cuffey (Glen Burnie, MD/Glen Burnie) and Jacoby Rojas (San Angelo, TX/Northeast) would string some buckets together for AACC's attempt to now regain the lead, yet the Hawks continued to exhibit their ability to answer and maintained their lead. With a 3-point finish by Clinton Smith (Old Mill/Glen Burnie, MD), a free-throw by Cuffey, and a jumper by Walter Tolliver (Parole, MD/Annapolis) – the Riverhawks had tied the game, 74-74, with 2:40 left on the game clock.
Emotions running high would unfortunately lead to a shooting foul combined with a technical foul against the Riverhawks, where Hagerstown then went 4-4 at the free-throw line to put themselves up by four points (78-74). With the clock against them, the Riverhawks were unable to overcome the deficit they found themselves in. Cuffey would finish twice more at the free-throw line, but Hagerstown would take the win, 84-76.
Cuffey finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds on the night shooting 6-9, 2-3 from beyond the arc, and 11-14 at the free-throw line. Rojas finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds, Smith with 10 points, Tolliver with 9 points, and Deondre McNeill (Pasadena, MD/Chesapeake) with 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Next on the schedule for the Riverhawks is a Conference, Regional & Divisional match-up, facing the NJCAA DIII Region XX Owls of Prince George's Community College. Tip-off is scheduled for this Friday night (1/18) on the Owls' home court of the Prince George's Community College campus in Largo, MD.
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