Hawks continue late roll

Published 4:26 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Ready for prime time.

Chowan University’s CIAA men’s basketball game today (Saturday) with Elizabeth City State will be televised over the Urban Sports Group Television Network and to paraphrase Gloria Swanson’s line from the movie, “Sunset Boulevard,” the Hawks are ready for their close-up.

Despite their early-season woes, the Hawks have bounced back nicely and have now won three of their last four games; their latest triumph coming in a 73-61 trouncing of Lincoln University Thursday night at the Helms Center.

It ups their record to 4-18 and their 3-5 mark in the CIAA North Division is good enough for a tie for fifth-place with Virginia State.

That might make the scrutiny they’ll receive today from a regional TV audience well worth it.

Chowan junior and pre-season All-CIAA pick Mark Brown led Chowan with 19 points, including a whopping five-of-seven from behind the three point line.  Sophomore Deandre Tyree recorded his third double-double in his last four games with 13 points and 14 rebounds while fellow-sophomore Quinton McDuffie rounded out the double-digit scoring with 15 points off the bench.

Lincoln’s Denzel Mooney led all scorers with 23 points.

“We’re understanding togetherness,” said first-year coach Dan DeRose, “playing together as one, communicating, and working hard.

“Now,” he added, “we just have to polish it.”

You couldn’t have put a better spit-shine on Senior Night for the Hawks lone fourth-year player, Charles Rhodes.  The Chapel Hill native missed his first three-pointer, but cashed in less than a minute later from beyond the arc and gave Chowan a 7-5 lead; one they would never lose the rest of the night.

Later, with the score tied for the third and final time on the night, Brown broke the stalemate with back-to-back treys. McDuffie would later add a pair of free throws to give the Hawks their biggest lead to that point, 19-13.

Lincoln went on a 6-1 mini-run to get within a point at 20-19 before Tyree sank a pair of layups underneath the basket.  The Lions kept clawing away, however, and were within one again with three-and-a-half to play, but would not score again.

Chowan, which shot 58 percent for the half, closed it out when McDuffie got a steal and a layup just before time expired for a 36-29 home team lead.

Rhodes again came through to open a half of basketball, scoring early to give the Hawks their first double-figure lead, 40-29.

The two teams played pretty much even over the next three minutes before Brown ignited an 14-0 run with three-straight three-pointers and gave Chowan its largest lead of the night, 59-37 with 11:30 to play.

They would equal that 22-point lead four minutes later at the 7:34 mark on a Tyree free throw.  The Hawks got only eight more points the rest of the night, but were comfortably ahead and won by a dozen.

“I know we haven’t been there before,” said DeRose, referring to big leads late in the game, “but we’ve got to act like it. We’ve going to have to learn to close games out.”

“We were lackadaisical,” said McDuffie, “and that’s not good going into the tournament.

“We’ve got to make that push,” he added, “because I don’t think a lot of teams want to play us right now.”

“Everybody’s starting to get it now,” chimed in Tyree. “We’re comfortable with the offense and we’re doing now what we should’ve been doing the whole season.”

“We’re making the system fit and it’s working,” said Brown with a determined gaze.”We know what we need to do.”