CU edges Apprentice
MURFREESBORO – Lauryn Perry should remember Senior Night 2007 at Chowan University the rest of her life.
Her 15-point effort helped notch a 54-51 overtime win over Newport News Apprentice as the Lady Hawks won their 11th game of the year Wednesday night at the Helms Center.
Perry and fellow senior, Joi Hazel - who is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,321 points to date – suited up in home-white for the last time and after a pre-game ceremony honoring the pair, they and their teammates went to work dismantling the Lady Builders but it wasn’t easy.
The first half featured seven ties and six lead changes in a close, tight defensive contest.
Chowan kept pace with their quicker opponents though neither the Hawks or the Builders would construct a lead of more than just two points in the half. Apprentice was limited to just 28 percent shooting from the floor while Chowan scored at a 50 percent clip on 11-of-22 from the floor.
While Chowan controlled the glass – outrebounding Newport News 20-to-11 in the frame – the Hawks had trouble at the foul line hitting just one in five attempts, and their poor performance at the charity stripe would plague them the entire evening as they finished 5-for-21 on the night.
After the seventh tie of the half knotted the score at 17-all, Monica Beck nailed the only free-throw of the half for Chowan for a one-point lead. Following an Apprentice turnover, A.J. O’Bannion converted the lay-up for a three-point Hawks advantage, but Newport News trimmed it to one point twice more before Rachel Wood made a driving lay-up down the middle of the lane just before the buzzer for a 24-21 Chowan lead at halftime.
Newport News came back to re-take the lead, 25-24 a minute into the second half before Chowan went on a three-point barrage.
First, Perry bombed in a pair of deep three-pointers to give Chowan a 30-25 lead, then following a Rachel Wood free-throw, Tameka Christopher fired in another trey for a nine-point lead, and despite Apprentice trimming it by two, Alicia McMorris knocked down the final three-pointer of the run for a 10-point, 37-27, Chowan lead with seven and a half minutes to play.
But the Hawks went cold the rest of the way, missing seven of their next eight attempts and in less than eight minutes Apprentice had trimmed the lead down to just a single point thanks to Tyechia Cook scoring six points during the 11-2 run including a pair of free throws with five minutes left to make it 39-38, Chowan.
The Hawks could have salted it away in regulation, but they missed four straight free throw attempts and when Rahshann Lewter nailed a pair at the line with 2:13 left the game was tied an eighth time at 43-all.
Perry nailed her final trey of the night seconds later, but Chowan missed two more attempts from the floor and on the final miscue with sixteen seconds left Apprentice snagged a big rebound and Whitney Lassiter hit a running jumper in the lane to send it into overtime, knotted at 46-46.
Newport News never saw the lead in the extra period. After an O’Bannion free throw McMorris nailed the seventh and final Chowan three-pointer on the night for a four-point lead. Apprentice got one point back on a free throw, but Perry helped solidify her Senior Night celebration with a pair of free throws and a jump shot with 22 seconds left for the winning margin.
Apprentice’s final attempt was blocked by O’Bannion, who cradled the rebound as the horn sounded for the 54-51 win.
Leading eight Hawks who scored, Perry was the only Chowan player in double figures with 15 points while fellow senior, Hazel closed out her home career with eight points and six rebounds.
In between the senior duo, McMorris was second leading scorer with nine. Chowan’s outstanding defense of Apprentice on the perimeter resulted in the Builders going 0-7 in three-point attempts.
Cooke led Newport News’ scoring with 15 while Lewter had 14 as the only Builders in double-figures. Coupled with their 70-66 win in Newport News back in January, Chowan sweeps the season series between the two schools for the year and has now beaten Apprentice in seven of the teams’ last eight meetings.
&uot;It certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty,&uot; said a grinning Hawks coach Pat Mashuda, as he shook his head. &uot;We did some nice things there for a while and then we just stopped attacking the basket, but in the end the most important thing was that we got a win. Equally important (my seniors) walked off the court with a win, but we’ll probably shoot a couple-hundred free throws tomorrow at practice.&uot;
Chowan will go for another season-sweep when the Lady Hawks close out their regular season Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina against Allen University, whom they beat in Murfreesboro on February 7th, 71-46. They’ll remain in the Palmetto state for the NCCAA South Regional beginning on Monday.
Chowan (54): Lauryn Perry - 15, A. McMorris - 9, J. Hazel - 8, A. O’Bannion - 7, R. Wood - 5, M. Beck - 5, T. Christopher - 3, A. Banks - 2
Apprentice (51): T. Cooke - 15, R. Lewter - 14, W. Lassiter - 8, T. Sanderlin - 5, S. Warren - 2, N. Jones - 2, U. Morton - 2, A. Barlow - 2, D. Twyne - 1