STRONG FIRST HALF PROPELS HAWKS TO VICTORY IN HOME OPENER
Nov. 12, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – It was a dominant effort by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team on Tuesday night, as the Hawks raced out to an early lead and never looked back in a 95-55 win over Salisbury University. The win was the largest for UMES in 17 years, where the Hawks combined to shoot nearly 60-percent from the floor. It was the first time UMES has scored 95 points in a game since they posted the same amount against Mercy in 2011.
“We did what we needed to do tonight,” said Head Coach Frankie Allen. “The team did a lot of things well and I was impressed with the way we played defensively. It was a good win and I think we gained a lot of fan support with the way we played tonight.”
UMES (1-1) was led by junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.), who had a career-high 34 points on a 9-of-17 performance from the floor. The Hawks also saw impressive performances from freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who scored 15 and 12 points, respectively. The Hawks shot nearly 50-percent from long range (7-for-17) and nearly doubled SU in rebounds.
UMES raced out to a 16-2 lead after six minutes of play in the game. The Hawks used six points by senior Francis Ezeiru (Enugu, Nigeria) and five from Jones to spearhead an attack that made eight of its first ten shots to begin the game.
The Hawks would continue their push and moved their advantage to 22, 35-13, after four consecutive points by Jones. UMES would go on to outscore the Sea Gulls by 14 the rest of the way to take a 55-19 lead at intermission. The Hawks shot 63-percent from the floor in the half, while also holding a 24-11 advantage in rebounds.
Despite the large deficit at halftime, Salisbury opened up the second half with a 25-3 run across the first eight minutes to cut their deficit to 29 points. The push would continue when Gordon Jeter buried a three from the far corner to cut the UMES lead to 20, 63-43, with just under nine to go. Junior guard Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) would tally a pair of free-throw on the ensuing possession to spearhead a 20-2 run for UMES. The run put the Sea Gulls at bay as UMES stretched its lead from there on out.
The lead would grow to over 30 points once again on consecutive free-throws by Jones. It was all UMES the rest of the way as the Hawks continued their balanced effort to post their first win of the season.
SU was led in the game by Jeter and Chris Viqueira, who each scored nine points. Tim Harwood and Charles Porter each tallied seven points, while Jeter also had five boards. The Sea Gulls shot just 32-percent from the floor in the game, but did manage to make eight three-pointers altogether.
UMES hits the road for the Midwest tomorrow as the Hawks will square off with the University of Iowa on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. Iowa finished last season with a record of 25-13 and were runner up in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com.