Hawks upend Southern Wesleyan in tourney quarterfinals

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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CENTRAL, S.C. – The Chowan men’s basketball was resilient in their revenge match against Southern Wesleyan here Tuesday night where the Hawks fought off multiple runs by the Warriors for a 79-75 victory in the Conference Carolinas Tournament.

Chowan, who improved to 6-7 overall in advancing to the semifinal round, was led by All-Conference selection Jaedon Willis with 20 points, including a crucial three-pointer and two free throws in the final minute.

Conference Defensive Player of the Year Jonathan McFall recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Jaylen Dilliard picked up 15 points including 6-6 at the stripe. Elijah Hill tallied 10 points. Calvin Ahoume recorded nine points and five rebounds off the bench. Jamal Thomas dished out seven assists.

Both teams shot above 50% from the floor as the Hawks shot 58.8% from the floor. Southern Wesleyan hit 11 three pointers.

Chowan led by as many as 10 points in the first half before the two teams settled for a 37-37 deadlock at intermission.

Southern Wesleyan built a seven-point (50-43) in the early stages of the second half before Chowan rallied behind the play of McFall, Hill, Willis, and Ahoume who led an 11-2 run and a 54-52 lead.

The two teams swapped the lead back-and-forth from that point.

With 1:37 remaining, Jamal Thomas evened the score with a driving layup. SWU hit 1-2 from the line before Willis connected from deep to give the Hawks a 75-73 advantage with less than a minute to play.

SWU missed a three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining as McFall forced the pressure. The Warriors were forced to foul putting the Hawks at the line. Chowan missed the one-and-one opportunity with 26.4 remaining.

Dilliard then swiped an errant pass and was fouled. He hit both at the stripe to give Chowan a 77-73 lead. The Warriors would score a bucket with two seconds left on the clock to make it a one possession game (77-75), but Willis sealed the win by connecting on two free throws.

Chowan, seeded six in the eight-team tourney, advances to the semifinals and will travel to second-seeded Belmont Abbey on Thursday. On Tuesday, Belmont Abbey defeated #7 Mount Olive 63-61 on a buzzer beater.

On the women’s side of the tournament, #2 Barton College defeated #7 Chowan, 82-58, in Wilson during Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

Chowan, who finished the season with a 7-8 record, would turn the ball over 23 times in the contest, but the Bulldogs did their damage in the paint with 40 points in the paint and 22 second chance points.

Aniah Patterson led the team with 13 points, while Keibra Hopkins scored 11. Demetria Bland chipped in with nine points and five assists. Kyani Moore produced a spark off the bench with a career-high eight points and 10 rebounds.