Final Score: Riverhawks 74, Northern Virginia Nighthawks 78
Updated Records: AACC 9-14 overall, 5-4 conference. Nighthawks 9-9 overall, 0-0 conference
Location: Anne Arundel Community College – Arnold, MD
Box Score: Found here.
Media: Video here.
The Riverhawks men's basketball team kept fans on edge to the very end this past Saturday afternoon (2/9), but a day of celebration for the Riverhawks sophomores (Dayvon Cuffey, Walter Tolliver, Jacoby Rojas, Clinton Smith, and Deondre McNeill) would turn sour in the exciting 78-74 finish against the NJCAA DII Region XX Nighthawks of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).
The Riverhawks would open the afternoon with an unanswered 6-point scoring bout, displaying their range with a 3-point bucket from well beyond the arc. Regaining their composer, the Nighthawks would close the gap and then continue to stay within reach of the Riverhawks finding themselves all tied-up (21-21) after fourteen minutes of action. Able to score a few quick buckets before time would expire, NOVA would take a 2-point lead (36-34) into halftime.
With each team battling for the Region XX win, the Nighthawks would slowly begin to pull away going up by 10 twice in the half. After leading the first half for the Riverhawks with 17 points, Deondre McNeill (Pasadena, MD/Chesapeake) would get some assistance from fellow sophomore Clinton Smith (Glen Burnie, MD/Old Mill) and Joseph Chase (Glen Burnie, MD/Churchville Christian) who were uncharacteristically quiet in the first twenty minutes of play. Once again closing the gaps and fighting to slow the Northern Virginia offense the Riverhawks would go on a 7-0 run that kept them within reach.
Knocking down jump-shots and finishing on fast break opportunities, the Nighthawks would respond with a run of their own (10-2) and would go up by 11 with a little less than six minutes remaining in the half. The Riverhawks would continue to fight back and would cut the Nighthawks lead to just 3 points (72-69) with only 58 seconds left on the clock. As AACC would foul in their attempt to control the clock, NOVA would go to the line three times sinking five of six shots at the free-throw line.
Getting down the floor quickly, Chase would hit a fade away 3-pointer that would again put the Riverhawks down by 3 (77-74) with just 5.9 seconds remaining in the game. Chase would foul out, as the Riverhawks again attempt to save some time on the clock, and the Nighthawks would hit the back end of two free throws. Unable to get the ball down court, the Riverhawks would run out of time come out on the losing end of a very exciting game.
McNeill would finish with 20 points and 4 rebounds to lead AACC in scoring for the afternoon. Chase ended the day with 15 points and Smith would add 14 points. Jacoby Rojas (San Angelo, TX/Northeast) would have a steady afternoon, finishing with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals.
The Riverhawks will travel to the United States Naval Academy on Monday, February 11th in a non-conference match-up against the Naval Academy JV. Tip-off will be 6:00pm. The Riverhawks will then prepare for the Region XX Division III tournament February 22-24, at Prince George's Community College.
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