HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — Houston sophomore JoQuarius Valrie poured in a game-high 25 points and pulled down 18 rebounds Monday night at the Kettle to lead National Park College past Southern University-Shreveport, 101-73.
The Nighthawks (6-1) came out hot and built a 19-point cushion in the first 10 minutes of the game, but Southern rallied to cut its deficit to 47-41 at halftime.
Six-foot-8 sophomore Garett Powell scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half for National Park.
Coach pleased with Valrie after win
“I told those guys coming off the bench midway through the first half that we’ve got to be able to maintain a lead,” said National Park coach Dillon Hargrove. “I thought they did a better job in the second half. Valrie was a beast, he plays so hard. Garett had two 20-point games coming into this game. He’s getting better, and getting in better shape. He knows how to finish around the rim.”
Valrie scored 20 of his points in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
The Nighthawks finished with five players in double figures. Rodrique Massenat of Trenton, N.J., scored 16 points and buried three of National Park’s 14 3-pointers. Valrie and Powell also had three treys each. Sayvon Traylor contributed 14 points with a pair of treys.
“We got nine returners from last year’s team,” said Hargrove. “I’d say this is our best club. We got three new guys that came in and immediately bought into our program. Defensively, this is the best group we’ve had here. Going to the national tournament is our plan. I think we’ll be contenders in this league. If we can win this league and move on to district I like our chances.”
National Park’s next action will be Friday and Saturday in Missouri at the West Plains Classic.