BASKETBALL PREPARES FOR CONFERENCE FINALE AND BASEBALL REBOUNDS FROM ROUGH START
March 2, 2009
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - As University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) athletics enters the month of March, basketball is getting ready for the conference tournament and baseball rebounds from a rocky start. Junior April McBride and senior Aleksandar Popovic of the women and men's basketball teams were named University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Athletes of the Week for the period ending February 22.
McBride, who was also named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Week, averaged a double-double of 16.5 points and 12 rebounds last week while shooting 50-percent from the floor. She helped lead the Lady Hawks in 2-0 record and earned her 10th double-double in the win over Norfolk State on February 16.
After a 17 game hiatus due to injury, Popovic made a statement in his return by posting a double-double against Florida A&M. He finished the contest with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
UMES baseball just about put it all together, essentially outplaying the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University in game one and falling just short in game two, before dropping both games 8-7 (11 innings) and 6-3 respectively on a sunny day at Hawks Stadium.
The Hawks used effective pitching, hot bats and solid base running to keep it close or take the lead in both contests. In fact, they out hit Lehigh in game one, made just one error to their five and got a home run from third baseman Elliott Alston, but still came up short in 11 innings, falling 8-7 in the opener.
Despite the two losses, UMES had a fairly good day at the dish. Alston went a combined 6-9 with a home run, a run and three RBI. Remo Orsini was a solid 3-7 with two runs and two RBI while Russel Deutschmann had a run and two RBI. Phil Vaughn was also solid, swiping three bases, picking up two runs and going 4-8 at the plate.
Junior right-hander Cameron Zimmerman (1-1) threw a complete game, three-hitter in game two of UMES’ doubleheader with Niagara to help the Hawks earn their first win of the season, 2-1 and a split Saturday at Hawks Stadium. He tossed seven innings and gave up just one earned run while striking out five and walking five for his first collegiate win.
UMES dropped the first game, 2-0, to the Purple Eagles, who improved to 1-4 on the season with the split.
Freshman left-hander John DesChamps threw a complete game, allowing three runs and struck out five to win game one of the doubleheader with Niagara, 6-3, at Hawks Stadium Sunday.
Deutschmann kept UMES in game two, surrendering three runs and six hits in 6.1 innings. The game was called due to the weather in the seventh, giving Niagara a 3-1 win and a doubleheader and series split.
UMES did what it could against Coppin State University when they travelled to Baltimore, Md. for the Eagles homecoming game. A rowdy crowd watch the Hawks battle to a 79-57 loss that brought their record to 7-21 (3-12 MEAC). Getting a team high 18 points was freshmen guard Conner.
Neal Pitt scored another double-double, the ninth of the season for the junior, with 10 points and a game-high 10 boards. Senior Gary Lee was solid as well, grabbing nine caroms and netting eight points. Marc Davis also added eight points.
In a MEAC game that saw the lead change 18 times, the women's basketball team pulled ahead with just over three and a half minutes to play, to grab their third straight conference win over Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) 70-60. The Lady Hawks moved into sole possession of fourth place in the conference with the win.
McBride led UMES in points for the eighth straight game. The 6-0 junior finished with a game-high 22 points and team-high eight rebounds. Bria Jackson came off the bench and hit five three's to net a career-high 15 points shooting 71-percent from behind the arc.
Receiving 88 percent of the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) fan poll votes, McBride was named National Division I Women's Player of the Week for the period ending February 21. Beating out Gaati Werema of Prairie View, McBride grabs the honor for the third time this season, second consecutive.
UMES nearly upset MEAC rival Coppin State University (CSU) after scoring 41 points in the second half. The Lady Eagles held on to win their homecoming game 60-56.
Fourth-year Head Coach Sam Douglas has plenty to build on as he enters his third consecutive season in the UMES dugout, having held the post previously during the 1999 campaign. After losing six letterwinners, Douglas has brought in eight freshmen and a junior to fill in the roster for the Lady Hawks.
UMES will look to veterans Kendra Saunders and Mishayla Truttman to once again anchor a young and exciting Lady Hawks squad. Saunders has led the team in several categories over the last three seasons, while Truttman has established herself as a threat in both the batter's box and the pitcher's circle.
Baseball hits the highway for the first time this season to face Temple University on March 4 and then onto George Washington on March 5. Both games are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.
It’s senior day for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. They battle Delaware State on March 5 to close out the regular season. The Lady Hawks tipoff at 5:30 p.m. with the men following at 7:30 p.m.