Hawks earn victory number one

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

MURFREESBORO – The third time was the charm.

Playing their third home game in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) proved to be the winning formula for Chowan University’s women’s basketball team.

The Hawks picked up their first win of the 2012-13 season in a 62-57 triumph over the Lady Falcons of St. Augustine’s University.

Pre-season All-CIAA pick Talaya Lynch had 21 points to pace Chowan – 19 of those came in the second half thanks to four three-pointers and 5-of-6 at the free throw line.

Janelle Murphy had 10 points and six assists while Danielle Coleman nearly had a double-double with nine points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.

Porscha Walton led St. Aug’s with 13.

Once again the Hawks’ defense was stellar; holding the Lady Falcons to 28 percent shooting for the game, and a paltry 13.8 percent in the first half.

Led by Coleman’s scooping up a dozen caroms, Chowan won the rebounding battle, 47-41.

Chowan (1-11, 1-3, CIAA) built a five-point lead up to 13 in the second half, then withstood a furious SAU rally to hold on for the win.

“It feels good that our seniors finally get a win for their senior year after such a difficult start,” said ninth-year coach Pat Mashuda. “I’m proud and very, very happy for our team.

“Our leaders stepped up, and our followers followed,” he added. “Everybody played a part; if you were in uniform, you contributed.”

Fatigue on both teams’ part may have contributed to the game’s slow start.  Chowan was almost as frigid as the visitors, shooting just 22 percent for the first half themselves.

Five early St. Aug’s turnovers contributed to Chowan building a four-point lead, 10-6, thanks to four points from Naima Harrington.

But the Falcons quickly erased it in a half that featured six ties and four lead changes.

With just over four-and-a-half minutes until the break Chowan began to break out. T’Shea Glenn got a layup in the lane followed by another score down low from Karina Monroe and the Hawks had a seven point lead, 23-16.

A late jumper by St. Aug’s had the score 23-18 when the horn sounded and the two teams headed for the locker room.

Chowan opened the second half with an 8-0 run.

Lynch – who missed all four of her three-point attempts in the first half – connected on a pair of long-bombs from behind the line; the last one making it, 31-18, which was the home team’s biggest lead, less than 2:30 in.

At the 9:23 mark, a pair of Murphy free throws made it 43-33, Chowan’s fifth time leading by double-digits.

“We just kept fighting and putting together pieces,” she said. “We build off our energy because if we don’t have energy we don’t have anything.”

But the Lady Falcons then scored seven consecutive points over the next two minutes to close a 10-point deficit to three at 43-40; even getting it down to two points – 54-52 – with two minutes to play.

However, Lynch scored four of the next six points – and six of the final eight – to pad the cushion and assure the Hawks’ win.

“My teammates kept finding me so I found a rhythm and just kept knocking ’em down,” said Lynch afterward. “From here we just have to keep practicing hard, and keep winning.”

“Everybody did their part, and that’s how we got the ‘W’,” said Coleman. “Now we have to take it on the road.”

After the home stand Chowan now heads on the road for a pair of games beginning Saturday afternoon against Winston-Salem State.  Their next home game is at 2 p.m. January 19 against Elizabeth City State.