WILDCATS TRIP UP HAWKS, 69-63, IN MEAC SHOWDOWN
Jan. 25, 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Despite holding a seven-point lead at halftime, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team could not hold the advantage, as the Hawks fell to Bethune-Cookman, 69-63, on Saturday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium. The loss was the 31st consecutive on the road for UMES. With the decision, UMES drops to 2-15, 0-5 MEAC and Bethune-Cookman improves to 3-19, 1-6 MEAC.
The seven-point halftime lead was erased in no time by BCU early in the second. The Wildcats opened the frame on a 9-0 run over the first 1:13 to take a two-point lead, 34-32. UMES was unable to take back the lead the rest of the way as BCU was 8-for-10 from long-range in the final 20 minutes. The Hawks were outscored 44-31 in the second.
UMES opened the game down by five after Bethune-Cookman took an 11-6 lead at the 13:56 mark, courtesy of three three-point baskets. The teams would trade baskets for the next two minutes, before the Hawks would go on a 19-7 run over an eight minute span. The push gave UMES an eight-point crutch, 26-18, at the 4:51 mark.
Bethune-Cookman scored four consecutive points to drop its deficit to eight, but the Hawks used a layup by senior Francis Ezeiru (Enugu, Nigeria) to counter with a 6-0 push. UMES held a 10-point lead with 1:34 to go, but a trey by BCU’s Clemmye Owens brought the score to 32-25 at intermission.
The halftime lead proved to be the first for UMES in its past seven games. The men shot 55-percent from the floor in the half and out-rebounded the Wildcats 16-10.
It was a tale of two halves in the game as the fortunes changed quickly.
Bethune-Cookman was on fire to open the second-half as they scored nine unanswered points over the first 1:13. The run erased the once seven-point deficit and gave the Wildcats a 34-32 lead. It was an even affair for the next seven minutes of action as BCU controlled a 48-44 advantage with 11:53 to go.
The Hawks would go without a field goal over an eight-minute span through the midway part of the second. BCU upped its total to as much as 10 points several times in the frame. The men shot just 34-percent from the floor in the second and made under 10 field goals for the 13th time in a half this year.
UMES had three players in double figures as freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior Isaac Smith III (Chicago, Ill.) each had a team-high 12 points. Junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.) chipped in with 11 points and dished out three assists, while Ezeiru had eight points and seven points in 22 minutes of action.
BCU was led by Malik Jackson’s 27 points. The senior was 5-for-7 from long range and brought down five boards. Clemmye Owens had 20 points and made four three of his own, while Troy Simmons had two steals. BCU was outrebounded 35-25 in the game, but made up for it by making 12 three-pointers.
The Hawks look to get back in the win column when they host North Carolina A&T at the W.P. Hytche Center on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. N.C. A&T was the 2012 MEAC Tournament Champions and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. The match against the Aggies is the first of a three-game homestand for the Hawks.
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