UMES TOPPED BY NORTH CAROLINA A&T IN OFFENSIVE SHOW, 95-85
Feb. 16, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Despite leading only once, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hawks gave North Carolina A&T (NCAT) all they could handle in a 95-85 loss Saturday night at the Corbett Sports Center. The Hawks and Aggies combined to shoot over 50 percent in all phases of the game as neither team's defense seemed to be able to stop the other.
"I thought we did an excellent job of executing on the offensive end, especially in the second half," said Interim Head Coach Meredith Smith. "I felt our guys were mentally prepared and overcame the adversity in the first half as we actually outscored them in the second."
UMES (4-22, 2-9 MEAC) took their first and only lead in the game on a BJ Nimocks (Detroit, Mich./Cloud County C.C.) lay-in that put them up 2-0. However, the Aggies would come blazing out of the gate as they went on a 14-2 run that featured a pair of three-pointers from Austin Ewing and Steven Rush. NCAT connected on an amazing 90 percent from downtown (nine-of-ten) in the first half.
The teams then exchanged several baskets over the next few minutes with UMES narrowing the gap back down to two on an Ed Tyson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook H.S.) three-pointer that was followed by an Ishmawiyl McFadden (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz H.S.) jumper to even the score at 20 all with 10:30 remaining in the first half.
Unfortunately, NCAT would not cool off as they hit three shots from downtown, including a pair from Glen Nelson off the bench; on their way to an 11-0 run that put them up for good. The Aggies took a 48-31 advantage into the locker room as they lit it up from the field, connecting on 59.3 percent of their shots. They combined to finish over 60 percent in field goal, three point, and free throw shooting for the game.
After converting a respectable 37 percent from both the field and three-point range in the first half, the Hawks turned it on in the second frame, combining to hit just over 60 percent in both areas, as they quickly made it a 10 point game, 52-42, on a Gary Lee (Flint, Mich./Northwestern University) shot from downtown. Lee would finish with a career-high 17 points, including 15 in the second half, on six-of-nine shooting from the field.
NCAT never seemed to lose their composure though and were paced by Jason Wills in the second half with 16 points on a perfect eight-of-eight from the floor. Wills finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 18 points and nine boards.
The Hawks were forced into foul trouble early on with starters Marc Davis (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook H.S.) and Brandon Moore (Baltimore, Md./Southern H.S.) picking up three in the first half. That would continue into the second period as both sat on the bench for a significant amount of time, combining for only nine minutes in the half, before fouling out. Nimocks, another starter, also collected his fourth foul in the second frame.
"I thought our foul situation hurt us all game and we had to make adjustments to be able to compensate for that," said Smith. "It was tough but I was pleased that we other had guys step up for us."
Nonetheless, the Hawks would rally yet again as they surprised everyone in attendance by going on an 8-0 run that was capped off by Lee's third three-pointer of the half to make it 88-71 with 2:33 left in the game. Following an exchange of free throws, the Aggies would blow a dunk, giving UMES a chance to narrow the gap but to no avail as they would hang on for the 10 point win.
Tyson led all scorers with a game-high 30 points on a perfect five-of-five shooting from downtown, while McFadden followed a career-high performance with a solid 13 points off the bench. Nimocks rounded out the Hawks double digit scoring as he added 10 points to go along with seven boards. Denzel Jackson (Philadelphia, Pa./Lincoln H.S.) collected a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with eight points.
"Tyson is always a tough match-up for anyone and he played well tonight," said Smith. "We had other guys step up for us offensively and knock down some shots, which we needed to have."
Ewing led the Aggies offensive attack with 22 points on four-of-five shooting from downtown, while Rush added 19 points with four three-pointers of his own and a game-high six assists. Patrick Gregg chipped in with 13 points off the bench.
The Hawks were outrebounded by NCAT (37-31), outscored in the paint (40-34), and allowed more second chance points (14-9), but did manage to force more turnovers (12-8) and points off them (23-7).
"I think our team played just as well as theirs did," said Smith. "I am proud of the effort."
UMES will now head to Virginia for a game against Norfolk State on Monday, February 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 E.T. and can be heard on WTGM-AM 960 The Team or live on the internet at www.umeshawks.com.