Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 30, 2013

Big Blues battle but fall to Chowan

Contest wraps up Currence Classic

By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — The final game of the 2013 Currence Classic at Bluefield State College saw the host Big Blues battle, but faltered in the second half and dropped a 72-55 decision to the Chowan University Hawks.

“Nobody could make a basket,” said BSC head coach Jamaal Jackson. “(We shot) 12 percent from three for the game, 29 percent from the field, 70 percent from the line. Nobody could make a basket. It started at the beginning of the game, the first five minutes we’re missing layups. Nobody really had a good shooting night.”

Chowan raced out to a 6-0 lead only to see the Big Blues draw even on Sam Ouedraogo’s put-back five minutes into the game. The teams then battled back and forth with ties at eight, 14 and 16 before BSC went on top on two free throws by Shakir Dunning. Avery Holliday’s three  gave state it’s biggest lead of the half, 23-16 with just under five minutes to go before the intermission.

Chowan answered and a three by Tiron Brown with just 20 seconds left before halftime made it a one point game. State took a 29-28 lead into the locker room.

The first five minutes of the second half remained close until Chowan tied it on a three-point-play by Brown to make it 35-each. After that point Chowan pulled away and the Big Blues played catch-up the remainder of the game.

Jackson talked about how Bluefield State was able to get the lead and then how they lost it.

“We got it by attacking the basket,” Jackson said. “We were moving the  ball, driving, kicking the ball out, attacking the basket. Then they went to the zone and for some reason we felt we needed to start shooting threes, which was not the case. We could have still hit the seams in the zone, but we didn’t do that.”

Key for BSC was shooting in the second half, or the lack thereof. The Big Blues were 0-for-8 from behind the three point arc and managed to make only 28 percent of their shots. The team shot 29 percent for the game.

Dunning led the Big Blues with 18 points and added four rebounds and two steals. The only other BSC player to score in double digits was Treon Claiborne who tallied 14 to go along with five rebounds. Ouedraogo cleared the glass with 12 rebounds, seven of those coming on the defensive end of the court.

Ashante Ross led Chowan with 17 points. Phoenix Butler-Poole had 16 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and two assists, while Kyree Bethel and Brown each scored 11 for the Hawks.

Chowan shot 50 percent from the field for the game, 31 percent from behind the arc as they made 4-of-13 three point shots.

Bluefield State’s Dunning and Chowan’s Butler-Poole were named to the All-Classic Team.

The Big Blues, now 2-8, play Tuesday night at Ohio Valley.