Hawks come up short

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Painfully close.

Despite a furious second-half rally, Chowan’s men’s basketball team was held scoreless on five straight possessions in the final two minutes and succumbed to Barton College for the second time this season.  This loss came at home in the Helms Center on Tuesday by a final of 84-81.

Current CIAA Player of the Week, sophomore Antonio Reddic, led the Hawks with 23 points and the three ‘sevens’ – seven rebounds, seven assists and seven steals.

Senior Mark McGlone, who missed just one shot from the floor, made 6-of-7 field goal attempts, leading to 14 points.

Chris Williams had nine points and Quinton McDuffie had eight to go with five assists.

While the drama for Chowan and the more than 200 of their fans in attendance came in the second half, the Hawks lost the battle of the boards as early as the first half when the Bulldogs grabbed 33 caroms to just a dozen for the home team.

And the ‘Dogs won the first-half battle of offensive rebounds, 20-to-2.

Barton was also just whistled for 11 fouls, sending Chowan (4-5) to the charity stripe only nine times.  Barton (7-2), meanwhile, shot 31 free throws and made 21 of them.

The loss also denied second-year coach Dan DeRose something he has yet to experience as the Hawks’ bench-boss: a three-game win streak.

“We were just very undisciplined,” the frustrated coach said after the game.  “A lot of hand checks, lot of body (checks), put them on the free throw line.

“I’m not going to blame the officials,” he added. :”We just played undisciplined basketball.”

A tight first half began with four ties and five lead changes. A Lee Branscome three-pointer tied the score at 10-10 and another trey from James Davis gave Chowan it’s largest lead of the game at 13-10.

However a 9-to-5 run by Barton over the next two-and-a-half minutes staked the visitors to a 24-18 lead.

The Bulldogs had outscored Chowan 18-7 by the midway point in the half and were ahead,  28-20, when Branscome hit a three to get the Hawks within five.

Chowan bounced back from another eight-point deficit thanks to a pair of layups from McGlone and trailed by four, 35-31, with five-and-a-half to the break. But an 11-4 run by Barton carried them to an 11-point lead, 46-35, at halftime.

Chowan opened the second half on a 10-5 run.  Twice the Hawks got within six: first on a layup by McDuffie and later on a layup by Reddic that made it, 53-47.

But Barton made another offensive explosion, this time, 11- 4, and had their biggest lead of the game, 65-51, with seven-and-a-half minutes left to play.

Then Chowan had their run with 10 unanswered to get within four, 65-61. The Hawks were behind by that same number, 72-68, when McGlone completed a three-point play to get within one and the crowd back into the game.

Barton moved it back to a three-point lead before Davis hit a three from in front of the Hawks bench and the crowd went wild: tie game.

After a Bulldog time-out, Reddic collected his CIAA-leading 55th steal and floated in for a thunder dunk that gave the Hawks their first lead of the half and the crowd an excuse to roar some more.

A minute later Barton tied it again by draining a pair of free throws; then with 45 seconds left another foul shot gave them a one-point lead.
But then came the miscues: Chowan seemed to set up a go-ahead play but instead came a turnover.  Barton followed suit with a turnover, but Chowan missed a three-point attempt.

Chowan began to foul and the Bulldogs made four consecutive free throws with under 30 seconds left to go up 83-78. Their last ray of hope came on a Kyree Bethel three-pointer with six seconds left , but a foul sent Jarrett Jernigan to the line where he made one of two free throws.

With less than a second on the clock Chowan’s buzzer-beater shot was off the mark.

“We recovered from our poor start,” said McGlone, “but we just couldn’t close it out there at the end.”

“We got fired up with those threes and the dunk,” added Williams, “and we tried to keep that going but we just kind of lost it.

“But we’ve got a lot of developing to do,” he said determinedly, “and it’s a long season.”

Chowan won’t play at home again until they host Winston-Salem State on January 12 of next year.  Following their exam break they head to Florida for a pair of games in the Sunshine State against Florida Southern and the University of Tampa.