Hawks come up short

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MURFREESBORO – It was “Win one for the Gipper” – but they couldn’t quite pull it off.

Chowan University basketball coach Dan DeRose collapsed during a late timeout in the Hawks game with Lincoln University of Pennsylvania Monday night. The episode, which caused a delay in the game, silenced the stunned crowd as well as the players.

DeRose was later transported to Roanoke Chowan Hospital by EMT’s for good measure where he was treated and released. Meanwhile, back at the Helms Center, the incident was a rallying point for the coach’s players.

And, despite a raucous crowd urging them on and playing with more passion and determination, a chance to pull out a win for the coach came up short with the Lions prevailing, 51-48.

“Our guys wanted to get that win right there for coach, but we came up short,” said assistant coach Kenyan Weeks, who along with fellow assistant, Terry Cook, took over in DeRose’s absence.

“I told the guys,” he added, “that if they play for 40 minutes like they played the last three minutes tonight we’d have a chance to win every game.  We come out with that kind of energy we can beat teams in this league.”

Adding to the Hawks woes was playing without CIAA Rookie of the Week, freshman Kyree Bethel, who was held out of the game as a medical precaution.

Chris Williams paced the Chowan scoring load, equaling his career high with 16 points and collecting a double-double as he hauled in 14 rebounds. Greg Alston had six assists while Quinton McDuffie had nine points and seven rebounds.

Jai Kellman led three Lions in double-figure scoring with 15 points.

“Not having many shooters hurt us,” said Weeks. “We had nobody to go to but McDuffie in the low post, but tonight we needed three’s to win the game.”

Lee Branscome, Mark McGlone, McDuffie and Williams led Chowan to a four-point lead in the first four minutes.  Chowan equaled that before Lincoln began to chip away; tying the game at 12-12 with 12 and a half minutes to play.

The game was tied three more times before Lincoln took their first lead.  Williams’ jump shot with less than 10 minutes until the break gave Chowan what would prove to be their last lead, 18-16. before the game was tied twice more.

The Lions closed the half with a 13-5 run and led it, 33-25, at the break which featured the Hawks getting hit with a technical foul after the horn had sounded.

After getting the lead up to 11 points in the first minute of the second half Chowan began a comeback.  Williams got a three-point play followed by a Mark Buright layup.

Williams next brought the crowd to its feet with a rim-rattling dunk, and after making a foul shot to complete the play Chowan was only down by three, 36-33.

But the Hawks could not sustain any offensive rhythm. Eight unanswered points by Lincoln had the Lions with another double-figure lead.

It was still an 11-point lead with nine-and-a-half minutes gone when Chowan scored seven in a row and pulled within four points on a pair of McGlone foul shots when it was Lincoln this time that was whistled for a tech.

A three-pointer put the Lions back out front by seven before DeRose’s occurrence. Coming out of the delay that lasted nearly 20 minutes the Hawks were a team on a mission.

First, McDuffie nailed a short jump shot, then he added two free throws when fouled on the subsequent possession.

Lincoln (8-11, 3-5, CIAA) called a short timeout and following the breather Williams got a steal and a layup to move Chowan within one.  He was fouled on the play but missed the free throw that would’ve tied it.

The Lions were fouled on their next trip up the floor and made two free throws. Chowan (6-14, 0-8, CIAA) called timeout to set up a play, but Branscome’s three-point attempt with six seconds left was partially blocked allowing the Lions to escape with the three-point win.

“Hopefully we’ll have both Bethel and coach back for Elizabeth City on Thursday,” said Weeks. “And if we play with some energy we’ll see how it goes.”