HAWKS FALL IN MEAC OPENER TO SAVANNAH STATE
Jan. 7, 2014
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.) was 10-for-10 from the free-line with a game-high 17 points, but it was not enough, as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team was defeated by Savannah State, 66-42, in their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener on Monday night at Tiger Arena. The Hawks have now lost four consecutive MEAC openers and drop to 0-4 all-time against SSU. With the loss, UMES falls to 2-11, while Savannah State goes to 3-12.
Down by 13 points with 18 minutes remaining, the Hawks went on one of their best runs of the season to make it a ballgame once again. The men used six points by freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) to spearhead a 10-2 run and bring the game to within two scores, 42-37. The Hawk push would be thwarted, however, as following a SSU timeout, UMES was outscored 24-5 in the final 12 minutes of action.
Jones’ effort in the game moves him into second-place in the MEAC in consecutive free-throws made. With the 10 tonight, he has now made 16 straight from the line and has not missed in his last 96 minutes on the court. Following his lead in the game was Baxter, who returned from an injury to post 11 points. Senior Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.) brought down a team-high eight boards.
UMES and SSU were each scoreless through the first three minutes of play, before a layup by Savannah State’s Saadiq Muhammad broke the ice. The Tigers would extend their lead with five more unanswered points, but the Hawks use a free-throw by Snyder to cap a 10-3 run across a four-minute span to take a 12-10 lead with 8:35 remaining.
Savannah State would counter the Hawk push with a 14-4 run of its own to take a 24-16 lead with just over four remaining. UMES saw its deficit raise into double-digits several times throughout the period, but five consecutive free-throws by Jones and a three-pointer by Baxter brought the score to 31-23 at half. UMES shot just 1-for-7 from long-range in the first period, while Savannah shot 42-percent from the floor.
UMES opened the second-half with two more free-throws by Jones to bring its deficit to within six. SSU would go on to tally nine of the game’s next 11 points to bring the score to 40-27 with just under 18 remaining. The SSU run set up the brilliant push for UMES, but it was too much for the Hawks to handle, as Savannah State’s defensive unit was too tough to break the rest of the way.
Savannah State was led by Jeremiah Hill, who tied Jones with a game-high 17 points. Jyles Smith had 13 rebounds and rejected six shots, while Joshua Montgomery had 11 points and two steals. SSU shot 47-percent from the floor in the game and outrebounded the Hawks 35-34.
The 42 points in the game were the lowest from a Hawk outfit in their past 60 games, a span dating back to 2011.
UMES will conclude its 11-day road trip with a game at South Carolina State on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks will look to pick up their first win of the trip against the Bulldogs, who enter the contest at 3-7.
For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com