HAWKS COMPLETE COMEBACK, DEFEAT HOWARD ON HOMECOMING
Feb. 15, 2014
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Down by 20 points with 16 minutes to play, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team completed a comeback for the ages, as the Hawks defeated Howard, 87-73, before 4,602 on Homecoming weekend at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. The mind-blowing run was fueled by senior Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.), who had career-highs in points (34) and assists (five). The 20-point comeback win was the largest overcome by a Hawk squad since 2005.
UMES found itself down by 11 at the break, before Howard extended the margin to 20 points in the early stages of the second. It was a 19-5 UMES run over a seven-minute span that catapulted Hawk fans into a frenzy and send the momentum in favor of the maroon and gray. A three by Snyder moments later gave UMES its first lead in nearly 25 minutes and the Hawks closed the game by scoring 20 of the game’s final 27 points.
Snyder’s 34 points in the game proved to be the most points scored by a Hawk player in six years. He finished up with 14 rebounds, just one shy of his career-high of 15, and tied a career-high of five assists. Freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) had 22 points behind a 14-of-17 effort from the free-throw line and senior Louis Bell (Washington, D.C.) had 15 points in 34 minutes. The 87 points were the second most scored by UMES this year and most in a MEAC contest in two years, dating back to 2011 when the Hawks pinned 88 points on Norfolk State.
The Hawks jumped out to a five-point lead, 16-11, after scoring 10 unanswered points across a three minute span. The affair went into a stalemate for the next several possessions, before Howard reeled off an 18-4 push to take the wind out of a once jazzed up crowd. The double-digit lead would hold true through intermission with Howard holding a 39-28 advantage at intermission.
Howard’s James Daniel was virtually unstoppable in the first half as he scored 23 points courtesy of a 7-for-12 effort from the floor. The tally by Daniel countered any offense that the Hawks had as Snyder, Baxter and Bell each had nine points. HU held a 13-9 advantage on the glass in the first 20 minutes.
UMES opened up the second slow as Howard upped its tally to 20 points shortly into the frame. The margin would not change much over the next few possessions, but the Hawks had different things in mind. Sparked by a jumper by Bell, UMES scored seven of the game’s next nine points to bring the contests to within 12, 59-47.
The Bison lead dropped to three at the 9:35 mark on a free-throw by sophomore Travis Trim (Ft. Washington, Md.). UMES used a strong full-court press and good shooting line from the floor to keep the score to within two possessions until the Hawks decided to pounce on the Bison with five minutes left.
Two consecutive free-throws by Bell evened the score at 67 all, before UMES scored 15 unanswered points over a three-minute span to take reverse the fortunes and take a 14-point lead, 81-67, with just over two left. The Hawks would hold tight the rest of the way as the home crowd backed the victor until the very finish.
Howard was led by James Daniel, who ended up with 33 points and two steals. Prince Okoroh had 15 points in 38 minutes, while Tyler Stone had eight points and seven boards. Howard shot a 59-percent clip in the first, before cooling off with a 30-percent average in the last period. The Bison had to transform their lineup late in the game as the visitors had two players foul out.
UMES will look to make it two wins in a row when the Hawks host Morgan State on Monday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The game is the second of UMES’ current three-game homestand.
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