Hawks fall just short

Published 2:54 pm Monday, January 10, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Oh, so close.

After rallying from a 14-point deficit, Chowan had the Fayetteville State Broncos back on their hooves with time running out. But, once again, the fickle finger of fate denied the Hawks a win as they fell to their Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe, 88-84.

For the third time this season Chowan put four players in double-figures led by Quinton McDuffie with a season-high 25 points in just his third game in blue-and-white.  DeAndre Turner scored his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Charles Rhodes had 15 points while Travis Williams added 13 points and a trio of assists.

John Herrington had 17 for Fayetteville State and Tyrell Tate had 17 more off the bench to lead four Broncos in double figures.

With nine seconds left FSU’s Andre Best dribbled up the left side of the court before cutting toward the lane and, despite being closely guarded by Chowan, found Herrington underneath for a layup with three seconds left and drove a dagger through the Hawks’ heart.

“That didn’t win or lose the game for us,” said first-year Chowan Head Coach Dan DeRose. “It was again a tale of two halves and while we’ve lost a number of games this year, this is one I can’t be upset with my guys about because even though we shot 35 percent for the first half this was the hardest we’ve played all year.”

Chowan came out with lots of energy and enthusiasm and led the game early, 7-0, behind McDuffie and Turner before FSU scored its first basket. Fayetteville State tied it, 9-9, before Rhodes heated things up with a pair of three-pointers.

However, the Hawks went cold (11-for-31 for the half) and FSU began to heat up and got rolling, tying it at 20-20 at the midway point of the half then going on a 14-4 run building a lead of as many as 10.

In the last six minutes of the first half, the CIAA’s highest-scoring team at 84 points per game went on a 16-6 run; building their largest lead of the night and taking what seemed like a comfortable 54-40 lead into the break.

The Hawks came out in the second half determined to slow the Broncos offensive efforts.

The game was back-and-forth over the first six minutes before Chowan began to heat up. Down by 13, they mounted a run beginning with a Mark McGlone jumper and got within three over the next eight minutes culminating in two Tyree free throws.to make it, 67-64.

Chowan rallied further and took their first lead of the half when McDuffie made good on a layup for a 73-71 lead with under six minutes to play.

FSU went back in front by a few points before with 28 seconds left Williams forced a turnover, drove the court, and found Fairley who’s fast break layup tied the game at 84 and had the Hawk-friendly crowd on its feet.

But after the Best-to-Herrington play put FSU back in the lead, Chowan turned it over on the inbounds play and two late free throws made for the final margin.

“We missed money layups we shoulda had,” said a frustrated Williams, “and had to fight the whole game to come back.

“And when it comes close,” he added, “we’ve got to be able to close games out.  That’s what’s holding us back.”