HAWKS LEAD AT HALFTIME, BUT FALL LATE TO NORFOLK STATE
Jan. 8, 2012
Norfolk, Va. -- Percy Woods opened the game with two scores for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore sparking an early run for the Hawks against Norfolk State University Saturday, but a strong start would not be enough as UMES fell 78-72.
The Hawks jumped to a seven-point advantage following the first two baskets being scored by Woods. With the lead all seemed to be going too well for the Hawks. Then UMES met a momentum change that favored Norfolk State with 11:30 remaining in the first half.
"Norfolk State is a tough team, one of the toughest teams we will face in the conference," said head coach Frankie Allen.
While playing solid defense in the post the crowd heard the whistle blow, and the first foul was called. Within seconds another foul was given to the Hawks. And at that moment the period changed.
UMES held the lead for nearly half of the first period. A missed lay-up by Woods following a tying basket by Norfolk State led to the Spartans jumping out to a 16-11 lead with just under 11 minutes remaining.
The Spartans lead increased slowly, credit the Hawks defense and rebounding by Pina Guillaume and Ron Spencer. The pair would grab 22 of the Hawks' 33 rebounds. Guillaume had a game-high 12 boards for the Hawks.
As the Spartans lead peaked at 26-17 with 4:37 remaining, the Hawks found its game to nip at the Norfolk State lead. Guillaume would go 1-for-2 at the free-throw line following a foul by Norfolk State to ignite a 12-0 run by the Hawks. Those would be Guillaume's only shots from the line, but he would go 4-of-7 (.571) from the field and finish with nine points.
A three-pointer by Louis Bell and Hillary Haley cut the lead to 28-24, and by 2:23 the pair had scored again to tie the game for the third time in the first half. Bell was one of three top scorers for the Hawks as he contributed 15 points. Bell went 5-of-13 (.385) from the field and 4-of-5 (.800) from the free-throw line.
Tyler Hines scored from inside the paint to give UMES a slight edge. With Hines' score the Hawks posted 12 points in the paint, two more points than Norfolk State. UMES won the points in the paint battle 32-24.
Haley would convert two free throws with less than a second remaining to give the Hawks a 32-31 lead entering halftime. Haley finished with 10 points hitting 3-of-9 from the field, and was perfect at the free-throw line (3-of-3).
The lead was the Hawks third time leading going into intermission this season.
Opening the second half ahead of the Spartans was short lived, and the Hawks would trail by no more than five points through 14 minutes of the second half. In that time the score was tied six times and by 7:49 the score had been tied 10 times in the game.
Mark Robertson scored two free throws to bring the Hawks within four points (59-55) and later scored a three pointer to keep UMES in the game. Woods would again score back-to-back baskets to trail 73-69. Woods finished with 15 points making 6-of-15 (.400) from the field and 3-of-5 (.600) at the free-throw line.
Robertson converted his second three pointer of the game, but it came a bit late with two seconds on the clock.
"We played hard tonight, we just have to find a way to finish," said Allen.
The Hawks scored 11 points in the second half off nine Norfolk State turnovers. It also shot better than 45 percent (27-of-59) from the field. Statistically it was one of the Hawks best games all season. Only in its three wins has UMES put up similar numbers.
UMES will continue its conference play when it travels to Delaware State (Jan. 14). The Hawks dropped a game to Delaware State earlier in the season, and with no contest in almost a week should give UMES enough time to prepare for the Hornets.