Chowan wins fourth in last five

Published 6:21 pm Monday, December 5, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Usually you call on a fireman to put out a blaze.

Saturday at the Helms Center, Chowan called on three-point shooting specialist, senior Lee Branscome, to get things, well, fired up.

And the Charlotte senior delivered, firing his way to a new career-high – 17 points which eclipsed his old mark set Thursday – and helping the Hawks’ men’s basketball team even their record at 4-4 with an 82-58 win over Allen University.

Sophomore Antonio Reddic had another solid game, leading Chowan with 22 points, six rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots.

Junior Quinton McDuffie nailed 5-of-6 free throw attempts en route to a 15-point afternoon; and senior Mark McGlone tallied 12,  leading Chowan with eight rebounds and missing just one shot for the entire game.

Jeremy Crawford led the scoring for Allen with 20 as the Yellow Jackets lost their eighth straight to fall to 3-11.

“We started off slow,” said second-year coach Dan DeRose, “but the difference this time is our defense was able to hold them down and kind of keep us in the ball game. Once we got things rolling we were okay.”

Ahead just 4-3 when the game was just five minutes old, Chowan reeled off seven more points in a row to lead it 11-3 nearly seven minutes in.

Little more than a minute later, with the Hawks ahead 13-8 Reddic and junior Chris Williams entered the game for the first time.

Allen managed to chip into the lead thanks to seven straight points from Richard Johnson and whittle their deficit down to just one point, 17-16, before the bombardier took over.

Branscome drained a trio of treys in a minute-and-45-seconds and while Chowan led by just five after his barrage there was a sense among the crowd that the Hawks had seized the momentum for good.

Allen, however, had something to do with that

The Jackets matched the Hawks offensively and never fell behind by more than five until 2:45 remained in the half.

Leading 38-29, the Hawks made 3-of-4 free throws before junior Rickey Lamb got a steal, fed the ball ahead to Williams who lobbed an alley-oop to Reddic for a  monster dunk that had the crowd on its feet and Chowan ahead by 10.

Two free throws cut the deficit for Allen to 43-35 at the break.

Reddic and James Davis did all the early second half scoring for Chowan, including Reddic’s second rim-rattling slam-dunk. A Williams layup a minute and a half in put the Hawks up by a dozen, 52-40.

After Allen got it back to a nine-point game it became a dozen again on McGlone’s first three-pointer of the season, 55-43.

“Our chemistry’s getting so much betterand that’s making it easier for guys to score,” said McGlone

Less than three minutes into the frame, McDuffie, who had two first-half fouls, reentered the game.  The big man missed his first three shots before connecting down in the paint en route to finishing a double-figure scoring night.

“He’s a special player,” added McGlone. “He scores in bunches and he scores real fast so I just do my best to try to get him the ball down low.”

“Our inside game’s got to be sharp,” said McDuffie, “because we’ll have to compensate for when we’re not scoring from the outside.

“But when those guys are on,” he added with a grin, “it means less rebounds we have to get and less work we have to do down low.”

Branscome only had one field goal in the second half, but it was a three-pointer.

McDuffie’s post-up turn-around jumper in the lane at the 13:34 mark gave Chowan a double-figure lead they would never let fall to single-digits again.

Reddic even took over some of the point guard duties to free himself up on the wings.

“I ran it a little bit,” he said afterward with a smile, “and it helped free up everybody else.”

Chowan’s lead went over 20 with two minutes left to play and with Lamb’s three-pointer from the corner with 19 seconds left they closed it out with their biggest lead of 24 points.

The Hawks have now won four of their last five with their only loss coming to Division-I East Carolina University.  Tuesday night (tonight) they face Barton at the Helms Center at 7:30 p.m. with memories of a 13-point loss back in November still fresh.

“I’m 0-for-3 against them in my Chowan career,” said McGlone with a grin, “but we’re playing pretty good right now.”