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RCCC wins in OT

AHOSKIE – In the 13 years Roanoke Chowan Community College has fielded a men’s basketball team, they have never defeated any team from nearby Chowan College, until Tuesday night.

RCCC, who recently settled on a new mascot name, &uot;The Blue Force&uot;, lived up to their namesake behind the play of former Hertford High prep star Frank Gatling Jr., who led the team with 19 points and 8 assists, and gave Coach Johnnie Rascoe’s squad a 89 – 81 overtime victory here.

RCCC came out very competetive against a Chowan J.V. team that had a distinct size advantage. However, it was the advantage the Blue Force had in depth, which would decide the game.

Freshman guard Ocie Askew, making his first start, showed that he was finding his way in RCCC ‘s offense, as he, along with forwards Donavan Wills and Jamarl Boyce, came out of the locker room on fire, and quickly jumped out to a 19-10 lead.

Boyce hit a three pointer with seven minutes in the first half, one of four he made on the night that gave RCCC a ten point lead at 37-27.

With just over three minutes left in the half, Ocie Askew hit one of his three buckets from behind the arc, to give the RCCC squad their largest lead at twelve points. The half ended with the Chowan J.V. team down by nine 42 – 33.

The second half began with Chowan cutting the RCCC lead to five, before Donavan Wills scored eight consecutive points for RCCC to get the lead back up to nine. Wills and Askew, who finished with 18 points, took turns punishing the Chowan defense with drives to the basket and free throws, but Chowan’s Travis Winstead and Chris Owens rained three pointers from everywhere as the game was tied at 55 points with 11:22 remaining.

With about four minutes left, Chowan College had a one point lead at 65-64. Askew fouled out at the three minute mark, and it looked like a victory was slipping away from the RCCC squad.

After a three pointer by Winstead, Chowan College held a three point lead with two minutes to go.

Rascoe called a timeout with just over a minute left, to tell his team to settle down and Gatling promptly scored five straight points to give RCCC a two point lead.

The lead exchanged hands several more times and with 2.1 seconds left and the score tied at 74, Rascoe, with two players fouled out, decided to not use his last timeout and set up a game winning shot, but rather trust his bench going into overtime.

Guard Donald Barnes hit a three pointer to start the overtime period and RCCC never trailed again.

Barnes scored seven of his nine points in overtime and Charles Cook hit key free throws in the extra period to seal the game for the Blue Force.

RCCC President Dr. Ralph G. Soney was in the stands to witness the milestone victory.

RCCC (89): Frank Gatling Jr – 19, Ocie Askew – 18, Donavan Wills – 17, Jamarl Boyce – 12, D. Barnes – 9, J. Askew – 6, C. Cook – 5, J. Smith, D. Jones – 1

Chowan J.V. (81): Travis Winstead – 19, Chris Owens – 17, Bo Williams – 16, Debaris Gore – 10, T.J. Perkins – 10, R. Sullivan Jr. – 6, F. Tolley – 2.