HAWKS FALTER TO HOUSTON BAPTIST, 70-55 IN HAWAII
Kyree Jones heads to the basket for two of his game-high 28 points.

Kyree Jones heads to the basket for two of his game-high 28 points.

Nov. 12, 2012

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HONOLULU - Kyree Jones (Indianapolis) led all scorers with 28 points, keeping the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in the game for the first half, before Houston Baptist pulled away to secure the 70-55 win in game three of the 48th annual Rainbow Classic.

Jones, who was held to just two points in the opener against Hawaii, exploded for 28 points, a game and career high on 9-12 shooting, 4-7 from behind the arc. He was complimented in the second frame by Olatunji "T.J." Kosile (Lagos, Nigeria) who netted 14 in the half to go along with a game-high three blocks and three boards in just 20 minutes of play.

Absent from the scoring column were game one's two biggest scorers for UMES. Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.), who scored 15 and 17 respectively against Hawaii, never found the bottom of the net against the Huskies.

While UMES played well in the key on defense from the set, collecting seven total blocks, including another pair from Ronald Spencer (Sicklerville, N.J.), they allowed too many fast break and transition baskets by the Huskies. Houston Baptist outscored the Hawks 34-18 in the paint, shot a blistering 57.7 percent for the game and an accurate 6-11 from behind the arc.

Spencer was effective, adding nine points and collecting eight boards for UMES.

The Huskies were balanced, getting 10 of the 11 players who saw action in the scoring column. Two of those scorers were an impressive 22 from Art Bernardi and 13 from Marcus Davis.

The Hawks got down quickly to open the game against the Huskies, 4-0, but got a three by Jones and a lay-in from Francis Ezeiru (Lagos, Nigeria) to take a 5-4 lead at the 17:50 mark, but never led again. HBU would push the lead in the first frame to as many as 14 on a Bernardi jumper with under three minutes to play, but the Hawks traded a pair of Jones three-pointers and Spencer free throws to cut it to 13 (40-27) at the break.

Jones scored 19 of his 28 in the first half.

HBU pulled away quickly in the second half and were up 24 with over ten minutes to play on another Bernardi jumper. They would maintain that lead for the next couple of minutes but UMES would begin mounting a slow comeback on Jones's and Kosile's back. He and Spencer got back-to-back jumpers to cut the lead to 20 and after a Huskie free throw, a pair of Jones jumpers cut it to 17 with 5:40 to play.

HBU got a Marcel Smith jumper and an Anthony Hill three-pointer that would extend the lead to 22 but Jones made a pair of free throws as did Spencer to make it an 18 point game with just under four minutes to play. Kosile would then get a pair of jump hooks to get the lead down to 14 before Bernardi scored. Kosile answered him with a jumper but Smith answered him to extend the lead back to 16. Dominique Cowell (Hampton, Va.) made a free throw with just a few seconds left to end the game and make the gap 15, 70-55.

The Hawks ended the game on an 11-4 run but it was too little too late. Houston Baptist moves to 2-0 on the season while UMES falls to 0-2.

The Hawks looks to leave Hawaii with a win tomorrow when they play Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 9:00 p.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. in Hawaii.