HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawks men’s and women’s basketball teams split their NJCAA Region II series with Arkansas State University Mid-South (ASU Mid-South) on Saturday, with the Nighthawk women falling to the No. 14-ranked Lady Greyhounds, 69-54, and the Nighthawk men defeating the Greyhounds, 83-75.
NPC (9-13) matched ASU Mid-South bucket for bucket early in women’s action, taking a 12-10 lead after 10 minutes. The Lady Greyhounds found their rhythm in the second quarter, however, outscoring NPC, 21-8, to take a 31-20 lead at the break.
Paced by 11 third-quarter points from sophomore Amaya Coakley (Killeen, TX), NPC heated up in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Greyhounds, 21-16 to make it a six-point ballgame entering the fourth quarter. In the final act, ASU Mid-South kept its foot on the gas, limiting NPC’s field goal opportunities en route to the season sweep over the Nighthawks.
Coakley led the Nighthawks in scoring with 16 points, while freshman Kayla Richardson added 14 points in the loss.
A back-and-forth first half brought the energy in men’s action, with the Nighthawks thriving behind hot three-point shooting from sophomores Sayvon Traylor (Atlanta, GA) and Jaylen O’Conner (Oklahoma City, OK) and knocking down a perfect eight-of-eight free throws in the first 20 minutes.
Trailing, 44-43, at halftime, NPC turned up the juice, defensively, in the second half. Allowing just one three-pointer, NPC forced the Greyhounds to take tough shots in the paint, which allowed the Nighthawks to take and pad the lead. Paced by Traylor and sophomore Kam Vick (Little Rock), NPC led by as many as 16 points, 73-57, with 8:15 remaining. The Greyhounds would attempt a comeback late, cutting the deficit to 79-73, with 26.5 seconds remaining. NPC stayed perfect at the free throw line in crunch time, earning the team’s first victory over the Greyhounds in program history.
Traylor led the Nighthawks in scoring with 18 points, while Vick scored 14 points. O’Conner and freshman Garett Powell (Springboro, OH) each added 11 points, while freshman JoQuaris Valrie finished with 10 points in the win.
The Nighthawk men and women resume NJCAA Region II play today in Harrison against North Arkansas College. The women tip off at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.
From NPC Nighthawks Communications