Evan Carpenter, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communications
TIGERVILLE, S.C. – After trailing by as many as 22 points, Jaedon Willis hit a floater with 2.8 seconds remaining to give the Chowan Men’s Basketball team the 79-77 comeback victory against North Greenville on the road on Friday evening.
Chowan (2-0) trailed 61-39 with 13:45 remaining in the second half. The 22-point deficit is the largest comeback in Chowan’s Division II history.
Jonathan McFall paced the Hawks with 23 points including 9-10 from the free throw line. Jaedon Willis scored one of the biggest buckets of his short Chowan career on his way to 18 points. Elijah Hill posted 17 points and seven rebounds.
Jamal Thomas scored eight points and a team-high nine rebounds to go with four assists and three steals. Jaylen Dilliard chipped in with seven points.
Jaedon Willis scored the opening four points for the Hawks before NGU (0-1) used a 22-0 run to take control of the contest early. Jonathan McFall ended the run with the next seven points. NGU continued to maintain their lead despite buckets by Xavier Young and Jaylen Dilliard.
Following a NGU timeout, Elijah Hill knocked down a triple to cut into the deficit, 30-18. NGU countered with a quick five points. Hill, Jonathan McFall and Jamal Thomas added a bucket each to keep pace with the Crusaders.
The Hawks would pick up points from the stripe as Jonathan McFall tallied two along with one from Calvin Ahoume and Trejvon McFail, 47-28. Jamal Thomas tallied a layup but the Crusaders posted a final tally before the halftime buzzer to lead 49-30.
Elijah Hill put the Hawks on the board to start the second half after a steal and knocking down a corner trey. Jonathan McFall added a pair of layups and Hill scored a bucket to cut into the deficit 54-39.
NGU answered with another run before Jaedon Willis picked up a point from the stripe and Trejvon McFail scored a layup. The Crusaders picked up points from the charity stripe to maintain the 20-plus point advantage.
Chowan went on a 16-2 run to trim the deficit to cut the deficit to single-digits, 68-62. Jaylen Dilliard and Jaedon Willis sparked the run with back-to-back triples. Jonathan McFall added six points during the run along with an Elijah Hill putback forced NGU to call a timeout with 5:22 remaining.
Out of the timeout, Jaedon Willis tacked on a pair from the stripe before NGU ended the run with a triple, 71-64. Jonathan McFall and Jamal Thomas connected with a pair from the stripe to cut the deficit to 71-68 with 3:23 remaining.
Jaedon Willis scored a layup to bring the score to within one, 71-70. NGU answered at the other end with an old-fashioned three-point play to push the lead to 74-70 with 2:27 remaining. Elijah Hill went 1-2 from the stripe to offset the NGU attempts, 75-71.
Elijah Hill countered a NGU layup with a layup of his own to keep the deficit at four, 77-73. Hill would add another bucket to trim the deficit to one possession with 31.7 seconds left. Jamal Thomas evened the score at 77-all. Thomas would force a turnover with 11.6 seconds remaining.
Jaedon Willis would drive the lane and float in the game-winner with 2.8 seconds remaining to give the Hawks a 79-77 victory.
Chowan and North Greenville will square off again tomorrow afternoon, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.