ECSU conquers Chowan

Published 3:43 pm Monday, February 14, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Chowan University’s men’s basketball team may have closed out their six-game homestand Saturday with a 69=59 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association loss to Elizabeth City State; but, as a near sellout crowd saw at the Helms Center and thousands more watched on regional TV, this team gives it’s all.

Mark Brown came off the bench to lead three Chowan (4-19, 3-12,  CIAA) players in double-figures with 23 points, including 19 in the first half. Quinton McDuffie added 11 and Deandre Tyree had 10.

Elizabeth City State (15-8, 9-6, CIAA), who won their third in a row, was led by Rondy Tucker who posted an impressive double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds.

The Vikings made 20-of-25 foul shots on the evening, 18 in the second half.  They also won the rebounding battle, grabbing 38 caroms to 29 for the Hawks.

“They (ECSU) went to the free throw line 23 times in the second half and only missed five,” said first-year coach Dan DeRose, “and that was half their points in the second half.

“We didn’t make ’em earn too many buckets in the second half,” he added. “We gave them a lot of points on the free-throw line that were unnecessary.”

With a regional television audience thanks to the Urban Sports Network’s weekly CIAA “Game of the Week”, the Vikings doubled up the Hawks in the first two-and-a-half minutes, 10-5, before Aaron Allen helped Chowan claw their way back into it.

During the TV timeout, DeRose inserted McDuffie and Brown and the Suffolk duo came ready to play. Brown scored his first bucket on a three-point shot and then scored 10 more in a row; carrying Chowan from down five to a seven-point lead.

With under seven minutes to play, Tyree gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game, 30-21. Elizabeth City, however, rode the strong shooting of Tucker back into a lead with under four minutes until halftime.

The Vikings led 33-32 when Brown hit a jump shot that put Chowan back in front. He added a free throw just before the horn and the Hawks enter the locker-room ahead, 35-33.

Chowan stayed in front for the opening four minutes of the second half before ECSU tied it, 41-41, on a Tucker foul shot.  Allen’s free throw a minute later gave the Hawks their last lead of the evening, 42-41 before Paul Goldsmith thrilled the Viking fans with a dunk and a lead the Vikes would not surrender.

Goldsmith had nine points, all in the second half.

After an ECSU run got their lead up to eight (50-42) with 12 minutes to play, Chowan continued to misfire both at the charity stripe and from the field.  Brown got off just six second half shots and made just one of them as the Vikings continued to march to the free throw line.

Brown made a free throw with eight minutes left and cut the ECSU lead to six. They matched that deficit five minutes later on a Mark McGlone layup and even got it down to five, 64-59, with less than a minute to play; but never scored again and lost by 10.

“We took too many threes in the second half,” said DeRose. “But our size-rotation was off all night, forcing us to take so many jump shots.”

“Once we took the ball to the basket we made Chowan play a lot more aggressive,” said ECSU coach Shawn Walker, “and we responded by knocking down the free throws.”

“We’ve got three big road games coming up,” said Tyree, “and we need to get all three so we can secure the fourth-seed for the tournament.”

“Three wins would be good for morale,” added Brown, “and send us into the tournament with a good head.”