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Second half dooms Chowan

By Gene Motley

Sports Writer

MURFREESBORO – A tale of two halves.

Chowan University’s men’s basketball team fell short in their attempt to maintain an early season win streak as they coughed up a second-half lead and fell to Holy Family University, 74-67, in a Saturday matinee game at the Helms Center.

The Hawks shot 57 percent in the first half, but a cold second-half start left them at 7-of-23 for the frame while the Tigers burned the nets with a 16-3 run to begin the half and held off a Chowan rally down the stretch.

Junior Mark Brown led the Hawks’ attack with 19 points and eight rebounds. The Suffolk, Virginia junior shot 6-of-15 from the field and dished out five assists. Freshman Jordan Dupree had nine points after shooting 4-of-6 from the field while Christian Um Kaman and Mark McGlone had eight apiece.

Freshman Alberto Munoz led three Holy Family players in double-figures with 23.  Munoz and teammate, Tim Smith – who finished with 17 – combined for 26 of the Tigers’ second-half points.

“That’s kind of been our downfall these first four games,” said frustrated first-year coach Dan DeRose, “the second half.

“For whatever reason”, he added, “we just start off slow and I don’t know why.  I tried not to talk about it this time, but somehow I’ve got to try to get us to come out with more fire in the second half so we don’t get behind like we do and give up leads.”

The game was also the first of the season for 6’-10” center, D’Andre Tyree. The big man made his presence known with seven points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of play.

“He’s had a little touch of the flu,” said DeRose, “and he got tired in the first half, but once he got his second wind I was pleased with what I saw.  He’s going to give us that inside presence we’ve missed scoring, rebounding and contesting shots.”

The coach got a great effort from his team to open the game despite the Tigers tying the contest four times in the first seven and a half minutes and later taking the lead at the 12-minute mark.

Trailing 16-14, Chowan went on a blistering 15-0 run lead by a couple of three-pointers from Brown and a pair of fast-break pull-up jumpers from Aaron Allen to take their biggest lead of the game by 13 points, 27-16, with just over seven minutes until the break.

The Hawks were up by 11 (31-20) after a pair of Um Kaman free throws before Holy Family mounted a comeback and got within four at 35-31 with two minutes until halftime.  But Chowan scored five of the last six points of the half, capped by a thunder-dunk from Um Kaman, and led, 40-32, at the break.

Then came the big drain.

Holy Family opened the second half with a 9-2 run in the first two and a half minutes and got within a point, 42-41.  Brown then made 1-of-2 free throws to put the home-team up by two, but that was the Hawks’ last lead of the game.

Starting with a Munoz fast-break layup, the Tigers then scored the next seven in a row and built a five-point lead, 48-43, with 12 and a half to play. Their largest lead of the game was nine points at 60-51.

Chowan, meanwhile, got only a Tyree jump shot in the lane, a Dupree three-pointer and an Um Kaman layup as their only shots from the floor over the next seven minutes.

Jerry Fairley came in off the bench and made a four-point contribution with a layup and a pair of free throws to get Chowan within two with two-and-a-half to play, but Holy Family made eight straight free throws to close it out and get their second win of the year.

“We’ve got to stop coming out sluggish in the second half,” said a disappointed Brown. “We’ve got to come out with some intensity, but we’ve got some more players coming in so we’ll get better.”

“They trapped us a lot and we couldn’t push the ball down the court,” said Um Kaman, “and our shots just weren’t falling down.”

“We went through that slump,” added McGlone, shaking his head, “and down the stretch their guards became the ‘X-factor”.

“It’ll be almost a month before we play home again,” said DeRose, “and I’m kinda glad because sometimes when you’re going through what you’re going through you need to get away and try to figure it out on the road.

“It’ll test your character” he added, “and you’ll see where you’re at.”

Chowan has road dates with St. Andrew’s and Barton in early December before hosting St. Andrew’s on the December 18 in their final home game of 2010.