|Home at last, J.C. Smith responds with CIAA upset against Chowan|
|Golden Bulls topple 10-1 Hawks for first league win|
|Published Friday, January 11, 2019 12:03 pm|
|Johnson C. Smith forward Cayse Minor scored 16 points in the Golden Bulls' 61-54 win against Chowan Thursday at Brayboy Gym.|
How can two-win Johnson C. Smith beat 10-1 Chowan?
Thursday’s 61-54 win was the Golden Bulls’ most complete effort in weeks, and most important, the first against a CIAA opponent. In order to make some headway in the South Division, they’re going to need more of it.
“As long as there’s season left, there’s games left to be played, if we change our mindset, change our attitude, we can change our position,” JCSU coach Steve Joyner said. “I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The Golden Bulls (3-7, 1-3 CIAA) took a small but significant step against Chowan (10-2, 3-1), which is ranked 10th in the Atlantic Region poll. Paced by Cayse Minor's 16 points and four assists, JCSU overcame a 34-28 halftime deficit and 32.3 percent shooting. JCSU played better defense by denying access to the lane after recess, holding the Hawks to 30 percent shooting in the second half. The Golden Bulls also converted 21 turnovers into 14 points and outscored Chowan’s bench 20-12 to secure their first win at Brayboy Gym since the Nov. 16 season opener against Bluefield State. JCSU had played seven straight games on the road.
“We just want to go out and win, go out and fight hard and make plays,” said forward Roddric Ross, who scored 12 points and hauled down six rebounds. “It’s that time of the year. January is a long month and we’re working toward something and it’s definitely something to build on.”
Said Joyner: “We played better…as a team than I’ve seen us in quite some time,” Joyner said. “Getting home always helps – we’ve been on the road quite a bit – but that’s not the reason. We’ve been trying to change our mindset and attitude, so we can change our position.”
The opportunity is bolstered by three more CIAA games at Brayboy, starting Saturday against Elizabeth City, Monday against Virginia State and Jan. 19 against Fayetteville State. Playing at home proved beneficial against Chowan, and the Golden Bulls are looking to expand it next week.
“On the road, we’ve been playing in some different environments, so it felt good to be home,” Ross said. “We’ve been practicing a lot here lately and felt pretty comfortable going into the second half down six and we executed in the second half.”
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