BAXTER LEADS THE WAY IN UMES' 78-71 VICTORY OVER MOUNTAINEERS
Nov. 21, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Freshman guard Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) tallied a career-high 22 points to lead the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team to a 78-71 win over Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday night. UMES is off to its best start offensively over the past 15 years as the Hawks have now scored 290 points in their first four games (72 ppg). With the victory, UMES evens its record at 2-2, while MSM drops to 0-5.
"This was a good win for us," said Head Coach Frankie Allen. "It was good for a number of reasons. The guys shared the basketball and made things happen. We had a couple of big plays coming off of timeouts. I am really happy with the way things turned out."
The Hawks and Mountaineers engaged in a tight battle for the majority of the game, but it was UMES that took control when it mattered the most. While holding just a three-point lead with 1:49 to go, the Hawks went on an 11-4 run over the next minute and a half to take the victory. Baxter led all scorers with 22 points, but UMES had two others notch double-digit point totals in seniors Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.) and Louis Bell (Washington, D.C.).
The pair played to an even beat through the first 11 minutes of action as a layup by junior Isaac Smith (Chicago, Ill.) evened the score at 14 at the nine minute mark. A three-pointer by Bell brought the UMES advantage to seven points, 27-20, before a layup by MSM ended the Hawks 11-4 run. The teams would go into halftime with UMES up by five, 27-22. MSM combined to shot 38-percent from the floor in the half, but the Hawks kept The Mount off the free-throw line and made seven freebies to hold the advantage.
The Mount made a strong push to open the second as they used a pair of threes to spearhead a 13-7 run. The push gave MSM their first lead of the frame, 35-34, but it would not last long. The Hawks scored nine of the next 11 points to jump out to a 43-37 lead, an advantage they would hold strong for nearly nine minutes. A layup by Mount St. Mary’s Jordan Norfleet evened the score at 54 but the Hawks would use three layups by Baxter and a three by Bell to take a seven-point lead, 64-57, with just under four to go.
The lead would grow to eight, but a furious Mountaineer rally brought the game to within three points with just under two minutes left. It would be Baxter and company the rest of the way, though, as the Hawks broke open the game to pick up the win and amass as many wins as they had a season ago.
The maroon and gray were led by Baxter, but junior guard Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) neared a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds. It was the Hawks’ effort from the floor in the second (43-percent) that was the difference, a total that was 15 points higher than their total in the first half.
MSM was guided by Norfleet’s 24 points, but Rashad Whack had 11 points and six rebounds as well. Sam Prescott was 6-for-11 from the field with 17 points. The Mount had 33 rebounds, just three shy of the Hawks’ 36.
The Hawks will return to action at Navy on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.