HAWKS CANNOT SEAL THE DEAL IN SECOND HALF, FALL AT HAMPTON
Feb. 11, 2014
HAMPTON, Va. – It was all UMES for the first 35 minutes of Monday night’s contest, but the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team could not seal the deal, as a late charge by Hampton proved to be the difference in a 71-65 loss at the HU Convocation Center. The Hawks led at halftime for the fourth time in their past five games, but a trend in slow starting second halves saw UMES get outscored by 13 points in the final 20 minutes of action.
UMES led by as many as 11 points in the second-half, but a 15-1 Hampton push late in the game proved to be the difference. Freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) kept the Hawks in the game with several big shots down the stretch, but his effort was not to be mirrored by his teammates, as UMES remained winless on the road this season. The margin was brought to one possession twice in the final minute, but Hampton held on for its eighth MEAC win of the year.
UMES (3-18, 1-8 MEAC) was fantastic to open the game. After falling behind by four, the Hawks tied the game up at nine all on a three-pointer by junior Issac Smith III (Chicago, Ill.) at the 17:11 mark. UMES took the advantage a couple of possessions later after two free-throws by junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.). The Hawk lead held strong until the 7:35 mark, but Hampton (13-11, 8-3 MEAC) would come back with a quick run.
A tip-in by Hampton’s Du’Vaughn Maxwell tied the score at 19, before the Hawks went on an 11-1 run over a four-minute span to take a 30-20 lead with just under four left. HU brought the score to within seven after a dunk on an alley-oop by Maxwell.
UMES held a 34-27 lead at halftime. The Hawks limited the Pirates to a 35-percent clip in the frame and were 5-for-7 from long-range in the first 20 minutes. Jones led all scorers with 15 points at the break, while junior Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.) each had four boards. Maxwell had eight points and seven rebounds.
The second-half saw UMES up its advantage to double-digits early as a deep three by Jones capped a 7-2 UMES run at the 15:26 mark. The advantage would thin across the next ten minutes, before Hampton used a three by Ramon Mercado and a free-throw by Emmanuel Okoroba to take a one-point lead, 55-54.
The 15-1 Hampton push reversed the fortunes of the game as despite a late UMES surge, HU held on for the win. UMES shot just 26-percent in the second-half and were hurt by a handful of second-chance buckets by Hampton.
Hampton was led by Du’Vaughn Maxwell’s double-double effort of 17 points and 14 boards. Maxwell upped his MEAC-best blocked shot tally with five in the game. Ramon Mercado had 13 points with a 3-for-6 effort from long-range. The Pirates had 21 offensive rebounds in the game and outrebounded UMES by ten, 44-34.
Jones had a game-high 27 points in the loss, including a 12-for-13 clip from the free-throw line. He had made 11 consecutive free-throws at one-point but an errant free-throw late in the game ended up being his first miss since Feb. 1. Baxter scored 16 points, 10 of which came in the final three minutes of action. Snyder had seven points and seven boards, while Ezeiru had five boards and two blocks.
The Hawks went to the free-throw line 34 times in the game, the most from a UMES outfit on the road since 2008.
UMES returns home for its 2014 Homecoming on Saturday against Howard at 4 p.m. The 2014 Homecoming contest is the first of three consecutive for UMES as the team plays three games in a five day stretch at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.
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