Red-hot Chowan trounces Livingstone men
By Dennis Davidson
SALISBURY — Monday night’s basketball game between Chowan and Livingstone at New Trent Gym had originally been scheduled for Jan. 9, but that weekend’s snow storm postponed it.
For Livingstone, it’s too bad that it was played at all.
Chowan came into the Blue Bears’ den, shot 65 percent from the field, played tough defense and left with a 95-77 victory.
And the final score is a little deceiving. The game wasn’t even that close.
Despite coming off on an exciting, 101-96 overtime win over rival Winston-Salem State on Saturday, Livingstone (8-13, 5-6 CIAA) played one of its worst halves of basketball in recent memory last night.
After leading early, 10-4, the Hawks outscored Livingstone, 40-14, in the final 14 minutes of the half. The Blue Bears missed numerous layups and inside shots during the half, shooting just 23 percent (7-of-31). From the 3-point arc, the Blue Bears were 2-of-12 (17 percent).
As late as the 6:00-mark in the first half, Livingstone trailed by just 28-22. But, led by guard Carlos Arroyo, the Hawks outscored their hosts, 16-2, in the last 5:40 of the half.
Chowan (13-6 overall, 7-4 CIAA) led at intermission, 44-24, and a large contingent of Livingstone students must have believed there would be no comeback.
They were correct.
With the student section half the size it was in the first half, Chowan put any thoughts of a comeback to rest quickly.
In the first four minutes of the second half, the Hawks put together a 17-2 run, pushing their lead to an insurmountable 35 points at 61-26.
Most of the damage was done by guard Marco Haskins, who had a game-high 21 points and drained three straight 3-pointers to start the second half.
Chowan, a CIAA member for less than 10 years, won for the first time in New Trent Gym, according to head coach Brett Vincent.
“I thought we were patient tonight and made a lot of shots, and any time you make shots, it picks your defense up,” said Vincent. “Livingstone’s got a good team, but we just happen to have one of our better shooting nights.
“Livingstone will win some games down the stretch and Coach (James) Stinson will have them ready for CIAA Tournament,” continued Vincent. “They had some good looks tonight, but the shots just wouldn’t go down for them.”
Still, Stinson’s team didn’t quit and a nice 15-4 run, led by Jimmy Wilson, Desmond Standback and Eric Dortch-Jones, cut Livingstone’s deficit to 21 points (77-56) with 9:15 remaining.
But Vincent called timeout and behind Jeremy Smith and Tim Hewett, Chowan’s lead soared back to 24 points in just three minutes at 85-61.
The Hawks coasted from there and while Stanback’s layup cut the margin to 16 points at 93-77, only 34 seconds were left.
Chowan made 35-of-54 shots from the field, including 6-of-10 on 3-pointers. Joe Goodwin followed Haskins’ 21 points with 20 of his own. Arroyo added 15. Hewett had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Livingstone, led by 17 points from Dortch-Jones, 14 from Roger Ray and 12 from Wilson, shot much better in the second half (50 percent), but the damage had already been done.
Livingstone has all week to regroup, as it returns to action on Saturday, hosting Shaw in a CIAA Southern Division battle at 4 p.m.
NOTES: Both coaching staffs took part in the national “Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers” program. The two staffs wore sneakers on the sidelines to help bring attention to the fight against cancer. The “Suits and Sneakers Week” is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise awareness about the life-saving mission of the American Cancer Society and to promote the organization as a place for help and support.
CHOWAN (95) — Grubbs, Kuteyi 7, Haskins 21, Lopez 3, Smith 14, Goodwin 20, Hewett 13, Buckhanon 2, Arroyo 15, Powers.
LIVINGSTONE (77) — McClendon, Burhannon 1, Duncan 8, Jones 3, Bond 2, Belfield 7, Ray 14, Bailey 4, Wilson 12, Dortch-Jones 17, Lundy 1, Standback 8, Bultus Livingston, Jinad.
Chowan 44 51 — 95
Livingstone 24 53 — 77