ANNANDALE – Playing in their final home game for the Northern Virginia Community College women's basketball team, Jalita Montgomery and Dima Kassem helped lift the Nighthawks to an 84-63 victory over CCBC Catonsville Thursday night inside Ernst Gymnasium.
With the win, NOVA (11-15) ties the school record for wins in a season and awaits final seeding the forthcoming NJCAA Region 20 Division II Tournament in North East, Md.
Catonsville led the contest 2-0 five seconds into the game, but Montgomery would erase the deficit for good when she swished a three less than 30 seconds later.
Natasha Porter, who scored a game-high 29 points capped the Nighthawks opening 11-2 run on a lay-up midway through the first quarter. After the Cardinals got back into the game, Porter sank another three and then Montgomery put in two of her 23 points on the night with a bunny to make it 20-9.
The NOVA defense then stepped up and allowed Catonsville to score just three points over the final 4:36, which allowed the Nighthawks to lead 28-12 after one period of play.
NOVA's defense continued to pressure the Cardinals, and the Nighthawks offense stayed hot in the second stanza. NOVA used a 15-7 run during the second quarter, which allowed the Nighthawks to go up 43-19 with 4:21 left and then cruise into halftime with a 49-25 lead.
After the intermission, NOVA kept the lead over 20 until the 6:44 mark when the Cardinals used a 17-5 swing to get within eight (58-50) at the end of the third quarter.
Catonsville continued to scare the Nighthawks, as the Cardinals closed the gap to six a pair of times early in the final period. NOVA though would use a 9-0 run to push the advantage to 15 after a Taylor Lynch layup.
The 9-0 run ended any final threat from the Cardinals, as the Nighthawks defense finished out the game by giving up just seven points.