Lynch has record-setting night

Published 11:11 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MURFREESBORO – Chowan basketball player Talaya Lynch cites Allen Iverson as a role model. Maybe it’s because they both hail from Hampton, Virginia, or maybe because they both know how to torch an opponent by lighting it up on the basketball floor.

Whatever the inspiration Saturday, Lynch closed out the home portion of her college basketball career with a monster game for the Blue and White, leading all scorers in the contest with 37 points as Chowan’s women’s basketball team picked up a key Northern Division victory in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) 71-57 over the Lady Panthers of Virginia Union University.

Lynch’s output equals the school’s single-game scoring record set by C.C. Vaughn against Peace College in 2003; and was six more than Lynch’s previous high of 31 against Fayetteville State last season. She also has 1,395 points for her career, ranking her second on the school’s all-time list behind Joi Hazel’s 1,445.

“This is just the culmination of hard work and dedication,” the three-time All-CIAA selection said in a post-game interview. “Lots of hours in the gym practicing hard and it always pays off. I just thank God that it happened.”

Naima Harrington added 10 points in the victory over VUU as in addition to Lynch, Chowan honored her fellow seniors: Danielle Coleman, T’Arra Cutting, and Karina Monroe.

Virginia Union was led in scoring by Ashle Freeman with 22 points in the loss.

In a contest that started out with eight lead changes and three ties in just the first ten minutes, the Hawks had a narrow 12-9 lead five minutes in after a three pointer from Lynch.  The Lady Panthers stayed close on Chowan’s heels, but a made free throw at the 5:10 mark from T’Arra Cutting gave the Hawks a commanding 33-25 lead.   Virginia Union fought back, however, to pull within a single point at halftime, 33-32, thanks to outscoring Chowan 22-to-8 in the low post.

At the break Lytnch had made half her three-pointers (4-of-8) and had already put up 19 points on the afternoon.

VUU took over the lead early in the second half and maintained that bulge until another three pointer from Lynch with under ten minutes to go made it 46-44, Chowan.  The Hawks never trailed after that point, with Lynch pacing the Hawks with 18 points in the second half.  Her made free throw with 47 seconds left in the game allowed Chowan to take a ten-point lead, 67-57.

Lynch might have broken the record had not coach Pat Mashuda taken her out to the thunderous roars and cheers of the crowd with 21 seconds left.

Chowan heads into the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte at the Time-Warner Arena with a 5-10 overall record, and 5-11 finish in league play.  Last season they shocked everyone by making the semi-finals.

“It’s about who wants it the most,” said Lynch. “We’re just going to go out there and play. We don’t care who we go up against, we just want to win.”