Chowan ladies fall in OT

Published 2:09 pm Monday, February 14, 2011

MURFREESBORO – The good news is that the Chowan University women’s basketball team is still atop the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings, and still in line for a first-round bye at the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte at the end of the month.

The not-so-good news is that more teams have drawn a bulls-eye across the Hawks’ jerseys.

The latest, Elizabeth City State (17-8, 10-5, CIAA), took a 57-51 overtime win over Chowan (12-11, 9-6, CIAA) Saturday at the Helms Center in the finale of the Hawks’ six-game home stand.

Senior Brittany Nicholson closed out the home portion of her career tied for scoring honors with 13. Sophomore Talaya Lynch also tallied 13, along with 15 rebounds for a double-double.

Kenyatta Gill and Shaquella Johnson tied for scoring honors for the Lady Vikings of ECSU with 11 points apiece while Tiffany Gadsden had 10.

“The other side (of being the hunted) of that is they’re (ECSU) a good program and they’ve won some tough games this year,” said seventh-year Chowan coach Pat Mashuda, “so for them to come in here and find a way to win is not surprising to me.

“We gave it everything we had tonight,” he added.  “I’m just not sure if our group of seven that get to play every night have much left right now.”

The game with Elizabeth City was Chowan’s third in five days counting Tuesday and Thursday games against Bowie State and Lincoln, respectively.

“I thought because of our fatigue we’d given up some easier baskets than we normally do,” said Mashuda.  “Whether it was fatigue or what Elizabeth City was doing it was still a good game plan against us.”

Chowan blew out to an early eight-point lead in the first five minutes thanks to three-point shots from Nicholson and Lynch.  ECSU then went on a run of its own, outscoring the home team, 6-1, and cutting the lead to 13-10 midway through the half.

Despite the Lady Vikings cutting the lead to three twice at the six-minute mark,  Chowan got three-pointers from Janell Murphy and a big trey from Najah Harris with three-and a half until the break. Both teams, however, went cold from then until halftime where Chowan led it, 23-17.

A pair of Lynch free throws in the opening minutes of the second half gave Chowan their biggest lead at 27-18. But over the next six-and-half minutes, ECSU went on an 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game at, 31-30, with little less than 12 minutes to play.

The Lady Vikings built that lead to five before Chowan responded by scoring the next nine points en route to a 44-40 lead. However, four free throws down the stretch allowed ECSU to force overtime as at the end of regulation, the teams were knotted at 44-all.

Chowan took their only lead of the extra period on a pair of Lynch free throws.  From there Elizabeth City went on another run – this time outscoring the Hawks, 9-2 – for their biggest lead, 53-46, with less than 30 seconds remaining and held on to win by six.

“We had those six home games and we were loving it,” said Lynch, “but now we’ve got to take care of business at other schools.”

“We’ve been struggling offensively,” said Elizabeth City coach Alico Dunk, whose team was 0-12 in three-point attempts. “But I tell our girls when you’re not shooting well you have to defend and rebound, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Chowan played at Virginia Union in Richmond on Monday night in a game that finished after press time.  They are at St. Paul’s Saturday before closing the regular season February 24 at Virginia State.