From the HCC sports desk:
BEL AIR, Md.—For the second straight game, a Harford basketball team was on the losing end of an overtime thriller as the Harford women’s basketball team fell to Montgomery College-Rockville, 61-58 on Wednesday night at the Susquehanna Center. The men, fresh off their overtime loss to No. 7 Cecil, struggled at points, but managed an 87-73 win over Rockville during the doubleheader that was recorded for a tape-delayed broadcast by the local Harford Cable Network.
Sophomore Kiara Reeves (Aberdeen, Md./C. Milton Wright) led the Fighting Owls (4-12, 1-7 MDJUCO) with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, while freshman Alanza Brown (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) was just one rebound away with 18 points and nine rebounds. Tyisha Moten and India Hall each tallied a double-double for the Knights (5-11, 4-4 MDJUCO) as Moten put up 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Hall totaled 14 points and 10 boards.
Freshman Jahmahl Slater (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) had a career day to lead the men’s Fighting Owls (11-6, 5-4 MDJUCO) with 22 points and 20 rebounds along with three blocks, while freshman Jamar Cooper (Petersburg, Va./Petersburg) also posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, as well as seven rebounds. Alim Stewart notched 16 points and 12 boards for the Knights (5-12, 2-6 MDJUCO) to post a double-double, while Darren Ball led the way with 19 points.
The Rockville women dominated at the start, scoring the first nine points of the game, but Harford would battle back in the first to take a slim, 34-33 lead into the break.
Harford would bring its advantage to four points, 41-37, with 15:29 remaining, before a 12-0 Knight run gave Rockville and eight-point, 49-41, lead with just over 10 minutes to go.
Harford would get the lead down to six, 51-45 with 6:19 on the clock and then score the next seven points to take a 54-51 lead with 3:13 remaining.
A split pair of free throws and layup by T’aira Poole on Rockville’s next possession knotted the score at 54, and after a few possession changes, Poole turned the ball over with 30 seconds left, giving Harford a chance for the final shot.
Brown’s 3-pointer attempt missed its mark, but the officials whistled freshman Tiffany Smith (Abingdon, Md./John Carroll) for a foul on the rebound as time expired.
Without the aid of instant replay, the officiating team could only guess on the amount of time left of the clock when the transgression occurred and added one second to time as Sarah Chan stepped to the free throw line.
Miraculously for the Owls, Chan’s attempt bounced harmlessly off the rim, sending the game to overtime.
The Knights built a four-point, 58-54, lead just two minutes into the extra period, but Harford would knot the score at 58 with 1:42 on the clock. Poole’s layup on the next Rockville possession would give the lead back to the Knights, 60-58 and Harford would miss its tying shot, before Poole was sent to the free throw line. She would miss both giving the Owls another chance to tie or take the lead, but they would turn the ball over with 29 seconds left, effectively ending their chances. Smith wouldn’t be able to commit a foul until the 15-second mark and Moten would make the first of her two shots on the way to the 61-58 victory.
The men’s game saw Harford on pace for a blowout, as the Owls built a 25-11 lead with 12:16 left in the first, but runs by both teams would see the lead dwindle to four and then be built back up to 12, before Harford ended the period with a four-point, 41-37 advantage.
The Knights would keep the deficit between six and two points for the first six minutes of the game, before tying it all up at 54, with 13:07 left. Harford would gradually add to its lead until the advantage broke into double-digits, 66-56, with 6:50 left.
Rockville would not come any closer than eight points for the remainder of the game as Harford rolled to the 87-73 win.
The Fighting Owls return to action on Saturday when they host the College of Southern Maryland for a doubleheader with the women tipping off at 12:00 p.m. and the men playing in their third straight home game at 2:00 p.m.