ECSU slips by Hawks

Published 9:21 am Monday, January 21, 2013

MURFREESBORO – No larceny today.

Having won two of their last three games Chowan’s women’s basketball team seemed primed to steal a win Saturday when they faced Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) foe Elizabeth City State at the Helms Center.

But the theft never took place and ECSU left town with a 55-50 win and a tighter hold on first-place in the CIAA-North Division.

You see, thieves have to have quick, sure hands and when you turn the ball over 23 times you’re going to get caught going in the cookie jar.

A crowd of just under 400 fans saw the loss which came despite a double-double from senior and pre-season All-CIAA pick Talaya Lynch.

The Hampton, Virginia native made a season-high five three-pointers enroute to an 18-point afternoon and hauled down a dozen rebounds – nine of those caroms on the defensive glass.

She was joined in double-figure scoring by junior Janelle Murphy with 14 points and six assists.  Sophomore Summer Curtis had six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

A trio of Lady Vikings had 10 points each to lead ECSU: Stephanie Harper, Shatara Jackson and Shawnte Taylor.

Former Bertie High star, Ya’Shonti Bridgers, played nine minutes, got a steal and a rebound, but did not score.

Chowan also got some of their own medicine on the defensive end; held to just under 31 percent shooting for the game while the Lady Vikings shot slightly more than 36 percent.

“We had a great crowd and we played with good energy for most of the game and we just couldn’t get it done,” said ninth-year Hawks coach, Pat Mashuda.

“They’re a good team and when you turn the ball over like that, you don’t box out, and you miss a ton of layups, you can’t beat good teams,” he added.

Lynch dropped the first of her quintet of treys to open the game and the Hawks were ahead for the first two-and-a-half minutes before ECSU’s Jackson’s jump shot claimed the Vikes’ first lead, 4-3.

Trailing 6-3, it was Lynch again with the game’s first tie, 6-6, on another bender from beyond the arc.

Elizabeth City then went on an 8-0 run before Courtnee Springs broke the Chowan drought with a three-pointer to make it, 14-9.

From there Chowan slowly chipped away, getting the deficit down to three points, 16-13, at the five and a half minute mark.  At 3:47 it was still three after T’arra Cutting’s conventional three-point play.

Murphy then hit a jumper to get the Hawks within one. Minutes later when it was a two-point gap, 24-22, it was Murphy again, this time right at the halftime buzzer with a layup to tie it at the break, 24-all.

Lynch gave Chowan its second half lead, 27-26, on another rainbow trey, but it was the last time Chowan would be in front.

“We missed some layups and free throws,” she said after the game. “Maybe when we make those we can win one at home because as long as we have good energy, then we have a chance to win.”

The Hawks missed their next five shots and turned the ball over three times, allowing ECSU to build an eight-point lead, 36-28, at the 14-minute mark.

Midway through the half it was a 10-point bulge and Elizabeth City held that same lead with eight-and-a-half to go before Chowan started chipping away again.

A 9-2 Hawks run was capped by a Kaela Nelson layup to make it a three-point game with three-and-a-half left to play, 48-45.

“We’ve got to get our most-active shooters and most-active scorers open,” said Nelson. “If we work on the little things, that’ll make us better.”

With Chowan forced to foul, Elizabeth City (14-3, 6-1, CIAA) went 5-of-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch to quash the comeback and leave town with the five-point win.

“It was not doing the little things early that cost us this one,” said Murphy. “We just have to move forward and stay positive and things will come our way.”

Chowan falls to 2-13 on the year and 2-5 in CIAA play.  Wednesday they have a road date with Virginia State in Petersburg before returning home Saturday to host Bowie State. Game time is 2 p.m.