Livingstone handles HawksPublished 4:26pm Friday, January 21, 2011
MURFREESBORO – It’s quite a feat that Chowan held the number-one offensive team in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association below its scoring average.
But it wasn’t enough to get the Hawks into the win column in the league.
The Livingstone College Blue Bears broke open a tight game midway through the first half and went on to take a 72-63 win Thursday night at the Helms Center, sending the Hawks reeling to their thirteenth loss of the year and dropping them to 0-6 in the CIAA.
Seniors Travis Williams and Charles Rhodes led the Chowan scoring with 12 points each while Rhodes added seven rebounds. Quinton McDuffie added 10.
Meanwhile, Darius Cox led three Livingstone players in double figures and all scorers with 20.
“What can I say,” said frustrated first-year coach Dan DeRose after the game. “We get performances out of two guys and other guys we don’t.”
More than the offensive inconsistency that’s plagued the Hawks most of this season was that the Hawks entered the game shooting 33 percentfrom three-point range and were held to 1-of-20 from beyond the arc by the Blue Bears.
With the Hawks trailing by two 10 minutes into the first half, Livingstone went on a 12-point run and blunted every attempt by Chowan to get back in the game.
“We just didn’t put 40 minutes together,” added DeRose. “We had to play catch-up and wait until our backs were against the wall before we played with some energy.”
As they have all season, the Hawks came out fired up to begin the game. But after McDuffie’s layup gave Chowan the lead off the opening tip, Livingstone answered with a three-pointer, the first of a dozen points on the night from Aaron Wilson, and never again gave up the lead.
Livingstone upped the lead to 7-2 before Anton Shoeton broke the drought with a jumper. After a Livingstone dunk to quiet the Chowan crowd put the Blue Bears back up by seven again, Chowan got a pair of Aaron Allen free throws and a Mark McGlone lay-up to once again get within three.
At the ten-and-a-half mark, McDuffie’s layup got Chowan within two before Livingstone got their first run of the half. The visitors reeled off a dozen unanswered before Allen broke the drought with a layup.
Neither team shot well for the half (41 per ent for Livingstone and 32 per ent for the Hawks); but most glaringly was Chowan going 0-for-8 from beyond the three-point line.
Trailing by eight with under two until the break, Williams got a jumper and two free throws while Mark Brown added his only points of the game and the Hawks were only down four at halftime, 29-25.
Ironically, it was the fourth game in the last six that Brown was held under double-figure scoring. He sat out one game with an injury.
Chowan took advantage of sloppy Livingstone ball-handling; getting 14 points off 13 Blue Bear turnovers.
Livingstone took a 10-point lead in the opening three minutes of the second half before Chowan rallied thanks to a pair of McDuffie layups and got it down to six. The deficit fell to four with a dozen minutes left to play on a Christian Um-Kamen layup, 40-36, as poor shooting continued to plague both clubs.
But Livingstone shook off the sorry-shooting shackles and went on a 12-2 run again to push their lead to 54-38 before a pair of Williams free throws broke the Chowan dry spell.
The Blue Bear lead hovered around double-digits until there were less than five minutes left to play. That’s when Rhodes got Chowan’s only three-pointer of the night, making it 61-53.
Chowan made five-of-six free throws and got it within six with two minutes to play, but the hole was too deep to climb out of as they missed four of their last six shots and lost by nine.
“It’s not about inches,” said Allen, afterward. “It’s coming if we keep grinding,” he added. “If we get on each other’s back it becomes the little things and then we can get those inches and get better as a team.”