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Chowan sweeps Lees-McRae; advances to next week’s Conference Carolinas tourney

MURFREESBORO – Chowan University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams advanced to the Conference Carolinas tournament by sweeping Lees-McRae here Thursday on Senior Night.

In the men’s game, the Hawks improved to 5-7 and grabbed the league’s #6 seed for next week’s tournament by beating the Bobcats, 97-90.

Jaylen Dilliard posted 26 points to lead the way. Elijah Hill added 18 points, while Jamal Thomas and Jonathan McFall chipped in with 14 points. Jaedon Willis added 11 points and six assists.

The Hawks shot 62.9% (22-35) from the floor in the second half including knocking down nine three-pointers.

Chowan never trailed, racing out to a quick 16-3 lead en route to a 56-48 halftime advantage.

The Hawks led by as many as 11 (71-60) in the second half before withstanding a Lees-McRae comeback as the Bobcats got as close as three points on two occasions down the stretch, but McFall, Dilliard, and Hill converted from the charity stripe to ice the contest.

In Thursday’s opening game of the league doubleheader, the Chowan women wrapped up their regular season with a 7-7 record thanks to a 78-61 win on Senior Night.

Monique Jones recorded a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Destiny Robinson and Aniah Patterson tallied 18 points each. Robinson and Keibra Hopkins recorded nine rebounds each. Demetria Bland tallied seven points and six assists.

The Chowan ladies never trailed, using a 14-3 spurt at the start to help build a 41-25 halftime lead.

Lees-McRae got as close as 62-57 with 5:23 to play before lay-ups from Robinson and Jones plus a pair of free throws by Bland pushed the lead to 68-59.

Both Chowan teams will hit the road on Tuesday (March 2) for their conference tournaments openers: the men at Southern Wesleyan (barring any changes to the bracket) while the women travel to Barton.