HAWKS FALL IN MEAC HOME OPENER TO SPARTANS
Isaac Smith III (pictured) dished out a game-high five assists against Norfolk St.
Isaac Smith III (pictured) dished out a game-high five assists against Norfolk St.

Jan. 11, 2014

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team held its own against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s top team on Wednesday night, but the Hawks’ late charge proved to be too late, as the men fell to Norfolk St., 66-62, on Saturday night. The men played stellar defense as they held the MEAC’s top scoring offense to its second lowest point total of the year.

The decision drops UMES to 2-13 (0-3 MEAC) on the year, while Norfolk State is now 9-7 (3-0 MEAC).

Down by 13 with 13 minutes to go, UMES used a three-pointer by junior Devon Walker (Philadelphia, Pa.) to cap a 14-5 run over a five-minute span to bring the Hawks to within four, 54-50. UMES brought the game to within a single possession three times the rest of the way, twice to just two points, but MEAC Preseason Player of the Year, Pendarvis Williams, was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 14 seconds. NSU has now won 19 consecutive games in the MEAC.

UMES and Norfolk State engaged in an even battle through the first 10 minutes of play, but a 9-2 NSU run gave the Spartans a seven-point lead, 26-19, with seven minutes to go in the half. Walker responded with his second three of the game to cut the lead to four on the next possession. The Spartans would move their lead to double-digits, but five unanswered points by UMES to conclude the half brought the margin to just five at half, 35-30.

NSU opened up the second by scoring eight unanswered points. The double-digit lead would hold true until the 12-minute mark, when another three-pointer by Walker brought UMES to within eight, 49-41. Senior Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.) dunked on a fast-break two possessions later to bring the game to within six, before a stalemate went down until the 5:22 mark.

The rest was history as the late heroics by Williams countered a valiant Hawk charge that was spearheaded by their effort from the free-throw line. Freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) was 3-for-3 with seven points, while junior Isaac Smith III (Chicago, Ill.) made two clutch shots with 48 seconds remaining.

The Hawks were led in the game by Snyder, who had a team-high 11 points and six boards. Walker was 4-for-5 from the three-point line for a career-high 12 points and Baxter had 10 points for his 10th double-digit point performance of the year. UMES shot 44-percent from the line for the first time in its past three games. The Hawks dished out a season-high 14 assists and recorded six steals.

NSU saw Williams lead the way for a game-high 20 points on an 8-for-8 performance from the line. The Spartans had three others in double-digits as Kievyn Lila-St. Rose and Anell Alexis each had 13 points, while Brandon Goode had 12 and a game-high seven boards.  NSU shot just 33-percent from the floor in the second, but out-rebounded UMES 32-30 in the game.

The Hawks will hit the road again next Saturday, when the men travel to Howard on Jan. 18 for a 4 p.m., game.  

For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com