Hawks drop league opener

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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FLORENCE, SC – The balanced scoring approach was not enough on a tough shooting night for the Chowan men’s basketball team in a 78-60 loss on the road against Francis Marion to open league play here Tuesday evening.

Four players registered eight points each: RJ Wilson, Jay Estime, Preston Le Gassick, and Paul Whitby. Wilson collected seven rebounds. Cheick Traore contributed six points and eight rebounds.

Chowan shot 31.7% (20-63) from the floor.

The Hawks started strong, building a 7-2 lead thanks to baskets from Chase Barnett and Traore before Estime knocked down a triple. Francis Marion rallied to even the score before Skyler Davies ended the run with a jumper. Isaac Hippolyte converted the three-point play before the Patriots went on a 15-0 run over the next six minute to seize control of the game, leading 24-12.

Thanks the three-pointers from Wilson and Le Gassick (marking his first collegiate basket), two baskets by Whitby and one from Veigar Alexandersson, Chowan kept within striking distance as they closed the gap to 33-30 at halftime.

FMU opened up the second half half on an 8-2 run as Jay Estime put the Hawks on the board with a layup before a Chowan timeout. Out of the break, Le Gassick connected from deep to end the run. Daylan Askew added a layup and Whitby hit a jumper.

But that’s as close as it got for Chowan as the Patriots moved their advantage to 57-39 with a 12-0 run. FMU pushed their advantage to 66-46 with just over six minutes remaining.

Chowan (0-3 overall; 0-1 in conference play) hosts Catawba for their home opener on Saturday, Nov. 26. Tip-off is slated for 4 pm.