NORTH EAST, Md. – Three members of the Northern Virginia Community College women's basketball team were playing with four fouls late in the game, which allowed Hagerstown used a late run to defeat the Nighthawks 61-51 in the first round of the NJCAA Region 20 Division II Tournament Thursday.
NOVA finishes the 2017-18 season at 11-16 and it returns to the hardwood in November.
Early in the ball game it was a back and forth affair, but the Hawks used a 7-0 swing to go out front 17-8. Taylor Lynch and Jalita Montgomery, however, got the Nighthawks back into the contest at the end of the period with a quick 4-0 run.
The NOVA defense stepped up in second quarter action, as the unit held Hagerstown scoreless for over three minutes. That defensive stand allowed the Nighthawks to get within two after Bilan Hajinur sank a jump shot with 8:15 left in the first half.
Nearly three minutes later, NOVA took its first lead since early in the game when Natasha Porter scored from down low. After the Hawks tied the game back up, Montgomery would give the Nighthawks the lead going into the locker room.
Following the break, NOVA and Hagerstown continued to battle, but it was the Nighthawks that put some space in the score. Porter, Hajinur and Montgomery each tallied points for NOVA to make it 36-30 with under five to play in the third quarter.
Then early in the fourth, the Nighthawks held a 51-44 advantage after a pair of Montgomery free throw's, which gave her 20 points on the day. Those two charity shots were the final points for NOVA on the day, as Hagerstown held the Nighthawks scoreless over the final 8:13.
During the final eight minutes, Porter, Montgomery and Lynch were all hit with their fourth personal foul – forcing them to sit on the bench for an extended amount of time and allowing the Hawks to use a game clinching 17-0 run.