Hawks hang tough vs. nationally-ranked UNC-Pembroke

Published 10:30 am Friday, January 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

MURFREESBORO – The Chowan men’s basketball team gave everything they had against #13 UNC Pembroke in a Conference Carolinas contest on Wednesday night before succumbing to a 90-79 defeat.

Jay Estime led the charge with 22 points and seven rebounds. Christian Koonce added 16 points. Daylan Askew and Donavon Martin chipped in with nine points each.

Chowan struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting 34.4% (11-of-32) while UNC Pembroke shot 66.7% (18-of-27).

Chowan would race out to an early 5-1 lead as Isaac Hippolyte posted a pair of free throws and Koonce scored a layup and a free throw. RJ Wilson posted a putback layup and Koonce added a layup in transition to even the score at 9-all.

Estime and Preston Le Gassick connected from deep to hold an 18-14 lead. UNC Pembroke countered with a 15-2 run to lead 29-20. Martin ended the run with a pair from the stripe and Cheick Traore added a layup, but Chowan trailed 32-24.

UNCP quickly collected seven straight points before Estime and Askew countered with seven straight points. Martin posted a jumper while Traore added a free throw as Chowan trailed 46-34 at the intermission.

Estime and Koonce put the Hawks on the board as they opened the second half with a pair of buckets. Estime knocked down a triple and Koonce hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 10, 53-43. A technical foul allowed Le Gassick to score five straight points before Veigar Alexandersson hit a corner trey to cut the deficit to four, 55-51, with 13:14 remaining.

UNCP pushed their lead back to double-figures, 65-55. Askew and Estime continued to push the score ahead before Martin swiped a pass and registered a dunk to get the crowd into the contest.

Trailing 75-66 with 6:26 remaining, Chowan went on a quick 6-0 run to cut the deficit to three, 75-72, with 5:18 remaining as Estime knocked down a triple and Askew scored on a fastbreak layup.

But the visitors (now 15-1 overall) would maintain their advantage and connect from the floor down the stretch to hold off the Hawks.

Chowan (7-6 overall; 5-3 in league play) hosts Southern Wesleyan in Conference Carolinas action at home on Saturday, Jan. 14. Tip-off is slated for 4 pm.