Chowan suffers setback

Published 9:01 am Friday, December 14, 2012

MURFREESBORO – It stings for now, but help is on the way.

Playing their seventh game without several of the pieces that led them to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Tournament semi-finals last season has resulted in the slow start to the season for the Chowan University women’s basketball continues.

Wednesday, the Hawks fell to UNC-Pembroke 60-45 at the Helms Center.
For the seventh straight game, junior Janelle Murphy led the way with 23 points – tops for either team – the only Chowan player to score in double figures.  The 5’-5” playmaker was also leading rebounder for the Hawks with six.

So far this season, the Hawks are missing pre-season All-CIAA performer Talaya Lynch and former league All-Rookie team member, 6’-3” center, Summer Curtis.

UNC-P had a pair of players with double-doubles: Courtney Bolton poured in 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with Lady Braves teammate Jazmine Kemp tallying 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Following an early first half tie, Chowan fell behind and never could catch up. Pembroke went on to outrebound the smaller Hawk line-up, 47-29, which was good for 16 putback points – 10 more than the home team.

“We’ve got a variety of things that has kept us from being at full strength,” said ninth-year coach Pat Mashuda, afterward. “But at the end of the day the kids that get an opportunity to play have to have an understanding of how to win games; and we’ll learn that.

“It’s frustrating that we can play well in one half and not so well in the other half,” he added.  “If we can figure out how to put 40 minutes together we’ll have an opportunity to do something special.

In this game, Chowan’s Achilles heel turned out to be half number one.  After tying the game 5-5, on a jump shot by Murphy and a three-pointer from T’Arra Cutting, the Lady Braves retook the lead and the visitors never trailed again.

Pembroke went on a 9-0 run that built to a dozen-point lead near the half-way mark. Two minutes later, the Braves had their largest lead of the half – 18 points – before Chowan began to chip away.

Karina Monroe, the former volleyball star playing in just her fourth game, helped ignite the comeback with first a pair of free throws and later a field goal. Along with a Courtney Smith putback and a three-pointer from Murphy, Chowan closed out the half with a 9-6 run, but still trailed 31-18 at halftime.
In the second half Chowan matched the Braves’ scoring, 10 points apiece, in the first six-and-a-half minutes. Down 15 at the 13-minute mark, Murphy fired back-to-back three-pointers to get the home team within nine, 43-34.
The Hawks matched that deficit three more times before a pair of free throws by Murphy cut it to seven, 52-45, with less than five minutes to play; but Chowan never scored again and UNC-P had their fifth win in a row.

“It’s a  tough struggle,” said Murphy. “But we’re going to take it, move on, and get stronger as a team.”

“It was a bunch of learning steps,” echoed senior Danielle Coleman. “We’ve got the CIAA starting up next week so we’re excited about that.”

Chowan (0-7) heads to Charlotte Monday to play Johnson C. Smith in their first CIAA match-up of the year.  In a non-league match, the Lady Golden Bulls won earlier in Murfreesboro back in November.