Barton bounces Hawks

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MURFREESBORO – The visitors were the spoilers, and in the end they picked up the spoils.

Barton College held off a furious rally by Chowan University’s men’s basketball team Tuesday night; winning the contest, 90-80, at the Helms Center and spoiling the debut of new coach Dan DeRose.

Sophomore guard and Durham native, Jerry Fairley, came off the bench to spark the Hawks with a dazzling 22-point performance.  The Durham native was 10-for-12 from the field and added a pair of free throws.

Junior Mark Brown scored his first double-double of the season.  The pre-season All-CIAA selection led the Hawks’ scoring with 23 points, 17 in the first half, and 13 rebounds.  Senior Charles Rhodes rounded out the double-figure scoring with 10 points.

Down by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Hawks fought back to get within four with little more than a minute remaining, but were held scoreless the remainder of the way.

“We climbed back into it there at the end,” said DeRose after the game, “and I can’t beat them up too much because I thought they played their hearts out to be oversized like we were.”

Gerald Boston led five Barton (1-0) players in double figures with 26.

“Their guards were really quick,” added DeRose. “They penetrated, they kicked it out, we did everything we could and how much more can you ask of these kids.  I’m very proud of them.”

Chowan spurted out to an early five-point lead in the first two minutes before the Bulldogs came back to tie it a couple of minutes later.  Chowan made another run a minute later led by Brown, who tied it twice on short jumpers and then used a jumper and a baseline layup to reignite the team.

The Hawks then took their biggest lead of the game, 24-16, on a Brown free throw before Barton began to exert their quickness in the back-court, penetrating and kicking it out, where three-point shooting enabled them to tie it at 29-29.

Chowan tried to run and keep up with the Bulldogs, but the shots on fast breaks just wouldn’t fall. The lead then see-sawed back and forth with two more ties before Barton took a four-point lead 30 seconds until the break that was reduced to two at halftime, 41-39, thanks to a layup by Fairley.

The Hawks were never able to grab command in the second half as Barton upped their lead to 11.  Brown, Fairley, Rhodes and R.D. Dowdy scored in a four minute stretch to pull Chowan within six five minutes into the half, but a layup and a three-pointer pushed it back to a double-digit lead for the visitors.

At one point, Fairley scored eight of 12 points as the Hawks tried to claw their way back into the game, but the Bulldogs were winning the rebounding battle on the boards with six minutes to play, built their biggest lead of the game, 78-65.

Fairley got off another runner in the lane and a Lee Branscome three-pointer – one of only two the Hawks made the entire night – got the deficit down to six, 78-72 with under five minutes to go.

Despite being in the bonus, poor free throw shooting (just 12-of-24, 6-of-11 in the second half) was also hindering the home team’s comeback.

Fatigue was also starting to set-in for the Hawks as Brown, Rhodes and Mark McGlone played all but six minutes of the entire game.

Trailing by seven with three minutes to go, Fairley scored on a fast break layup off a turnover and Christian Um Kaman added another pair of chippies on breaks to make it 80-84 with just over a minute to play, but Chowan was shut down the rest of the way.  The Hawks would foul on missed shots, but six straight Bulldog free-throws sealed the game.

“We were undersized,” said Rhodes, “but the main thing is we hustled and tried to play harder. There at the end we didn’t quite put in a full effort and that hurt us.”

“My teammates and coach believed in me,” said Fairley who at one point scored eight straight, “so I went out there tonight to try to do what I could to help us win.”

“This loss was pretty tough,” added Brown, shaking his head, “especially knowing they got a lot of second chances. But we’ve got two more games this week; we can bounce back.”

Chowan now hits the road for a pair of games in the Pickle Classic at Mt. Olive College in Wayne County. They open Friday with Mars Hill, followed on Saturday by North Georgia State before returning home on the Nov. 27 to host, Holy Family.

“We’re going to have to play well again,” said DeRose, “we’ll get after it, and we’ll be alright.”

(By Gene Motley, Sports Writer)