Smith bounces Chowan in CIAA opener

Published 3:56 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Not the welcome he would’ve wanted.

First-year Chowan University men’s basketball coach Dan DeRose’s team played its first game of the new year: a home contest at the Helms Center Thursday night against Johnson C. Smith and came up on the losing end, 71-55.

It was DeRose’s first game against a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association team.

Newcomer Travis Williams led Chowan with 13 points and had five steals while Deandre Tyree had 11 points and eight rebounds. Suffolk, Virginia sophomore transfer Quinton McDuffie, playing in just his second game for the blue-and-white, had 10 points before fouling out late in the second half.

Former CIAA ‘Player of the Week’ Trevin Parks led all scorers with 27 points, 19 in the second half, for J.C. Smith while center Delonta Boyd had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Smith (6-4, 2-0,CIAA) won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Chowan, 48-to-34, with the Hawks managing just three offensive rebounds for the game.

Despite an early lead by Chowan, Smith came back to tie the game three times in the first half before building a lead of as many as six points at halftime.  The Golden Bulls then went on to open it up in the second half where they made 13-of-16 free throws and coasted to the win.

“I guess this is a good way of breaking me in,” chuckled DeRose after the game.

But on a more serious note he added, “It’s the same song-and-dance: whether it’s the tale of two halves or what, we just haven’t shot the ball very well.

“The guys we’ve got can shoot the ball,” he said, “they just aren’t for some reason shooting it well.”

Despite being the top three-point shooting team in the CIAA entering Thursday’s game, the Hawks were 3-of-19 from beyond the arc for the night with all three triples coming off the hand of Williams.

“I thought we game-planned well”, said DeRose, “we took everything they ran offensively, we switched to take them out of their plays, got beat up a little bit on the inside, but just like every other game, we got outscored on the free throw line.”

Chowan went to the charity stripe just 12 times, but made half of them. Smith, on the other hand, had a whopping 30 free-throw attempts and made 23 of them; Parks going 7-for-11.

“I just don’t have that lock-down guard,” the coach added, “that can shut down the opposing team’s best guard – and I’ve tried everybody and everything.

“Bottom line tonight,” he concluded, “we just didn’t shoot the ball.

It didn’t start that way for the Hawks, who took to the floor with enthusiasm and a lot of chatter amongst themselves. Tyree got two quick layups in the paint followed by another by McDuffie for a quick 6-0 Chowan lead.

But back came the Bulls with strong inside play from Boyd and free throws and jump shots from Parks.

Chowan could never establish a rhythm offensively and following a pair of Aaron Allen free throws, the Bulls tied it for the third and final time on a three-pointer and then swished a jump shot and the visitors never lost the lead again.

Smith got the first half lead up to six points twice, the final time on a pair of late free throws just before halftime to lead it, 31-25, at the break.

Parks led the charge in the second half, scoring seven of Smith’s first nine points as the Bulls pushed the lead to double-figures.  They got it to as many as 17 points, 54-37, with nine minutes to play

McDuffie helped chip away at that margin in the next three-and-a-half minutes with a fast-break layup and a soft contested jump shot sandwiching a three-pointer from Williams.  As the six-minute mark neared, Mark McGlone got a layup after a steal by Williams and Chowan was within eight, 54-46.

But again the Bulls went inside to Boyd and pushed it back to a double-figure lead they never surrendered.

Chowan missed eight of their last 12 shots and despite the physical play underneath didn’t make one single trip to the free throw line.

“It’s just back at it after tomorrow,” said Tyree.  “(We) gotta get that first win in the CIAA.”

“The game could’ve easily been topsy-turvy if we’d have made our shots,” said a disappointed Williams.

“This wasn’t payback,” said Smith coach Steve Joyner, who’s 2010 squad lost to the Hawks in the first round of the CIAA Tournament after they’d swept Chowan in the regular season.  “I just reminded the guys about it (the loss) and said just keep it in the back of your minds.”

Chowan (1-8, 0-1,CIAA) hosts Fayetteville State this afternoon (Saturday) at the Helms Center with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.