RONALD SPENCER GRABS 17 REBOUNDS IN BIRD FIGHT WITH EAGLES
Ronald Specner
Ronald Specner

Feb. 28, 2012

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Princess Anne, Md. --Ronald Spencer finished with a game-high 17 total rebounds while three University of Maryland Eastern Shore players tallied double digits in a four point loss to Coppin State Monday. UMES fell 64-60 to the Eagles after leading by seven points at intermission.

Percy Woods had a game-high 18 points for UMES, and knocked down two free throws late in the game to pull the Hawks within striking distance of the Coppin State lead. "We had this game in our hands," said Woods following a timeout called by head coach Frankie Allen.

Having led much of the first half and with a 34-27 advantage entering halftime the crowd felt what Woods said. UMES shot better than 44 percent from the field, and its defense stifled the Eagles to shoot 30 percent from the field.

The teams would exchange baskets and keep within a point or two through the first six minutes of play. Tyler Hines scored with just under 12:30 remaining in the first half. Then Woods would net a three-pointer, followed by two additional three-pointers from Gregory Womack and Mark Robertson at 10:42 and 9:29 respectively.

In just under two minutes and 30 seconds UMES had taken a 25-16 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Woods would net another point from the floor helping the Hawks and giving him more than half of his total points in the first half.

Coppin State made a steady nip at the Hawks slight lead, cutting it to three points (30-27) with 2:24 left in the first half. UMES would continue to play with a slight advantage until Woods dropped another three with 14 seconds left in the half propelling UMES back to its seven-point (34-27) lead.

He was 4-of-7 from the field in the first period, and would score twice more in the second. Woods also finished with a team-high seven assists.

Hines finished with the Hawks only double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. A majority of Hines' points were scored in the paint, while the Hawks posted a total of 22 points in the paint. He was 5-of-10 from the field and 1-of-2 at the free-throw line.

Returning from halftime the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foes went back to keeping the game within three points of the lead for much of the early part of the second half. A lay-up by Hines brought UMES within two points of the Coppin State lead (51-49), which it gained following two made free throws.

Haley would convert a free-throw attempt on a shot-and-foul basket at 6:05 to bring UMES within one point (53-52). Seconds later Spencer would dunk the ball to keep the Hawks yet again within striking distance of a tie or lead change.

A few more buckets would fall for Coppin State, but Woods would find himself converting both his free throws to cut again into the Eagles lead. With two made free baskets by Spencer with just under 3:15 left to play, UMES showed its fight to win.

Coppin State scored back-to-back points at 2:19 and 1:43, again gaining separation from the Hawks. Hines scored in the paint to keep UMES alive, but it would be the Hawks last basket with 1:20 remaining in the game.

At 62-60 following Hines' score, UMES could not muster another shot before fouling a Coppin State big man to put him on the line. He would score his first free-throw, leaving a degree of possibility to the Hawks chances. His second free-throw would swish through the net, and as Woods stated, the Hawks had the game but at 64-60 its chances were slim.

With only three seconds on the clock and a full-court inbound needed for a possible chance at a at a win, everything mattered. The inbound pass was aimed for a Hawk player at mid-court, but ended up in the hands of a Coppin State defender.