STRONG FIRST HALF NOT ENOUGH FOR HAWKS AGAINST KANSAS STATE
Nov. 23, 2011
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- Louis Bell and Percy Woods were key factors for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the first half of the Hawks Tuesday night game at Kansas State. The pair combined for 14 of the Hawks' 29 first half points, and finished with 10 points for Bell and 13 points for Woods. Given the well-played first half, Maryland Eastern Shore lost 92-50.
Entering halftime down just seven points to a tough Big 12 opponent was shocking, but showed the Hawks that it was capable of playing better than it had against its first four opponents of the season.
Going with Ishaq Pitt in the starting line-up as a third guard seemed to help the Hawks early in the game against a stout Wildcat defense, allowing Pitt and Woods to use their skills to penetrate and distribute the ball.
Although there was solid guard play, the Kansas State defense forced UMES to be smarter with its shot selection, and a few times Kansas State forced the Hawks to run the clock down for shot clock violations.
Considering all of that, Bell and Woods sparked a Hawks offense that forced three tied scores in the first 5:00 of play. Pitt got to the lane early to score first for the Hawks, followed by a three-pointer by Woods.
With the score tied at 11-all, Hillary Haley knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing to give Maryland Eastern Shore a three-point lead with much of the first half to play. The two teams would battle for more than 10-minutes keeping within five points of each other until Kansas State took an 8-point advantage with less than three minutes remaining in the first half.
Those 10-minutes of play for the Hawks were statistically impressive. Early on Maryland Eastern Shore was hitting 75 percent (6-of-8) from the field and a perfect (4-of-4) from three-point land.
The Hawks were even with Kansas State with 10 points scored in the paint, but Maryland Eastern Shore found itself again allowing 12 points off its 10 first half turnovers.
Maryland Eastern Shore was better than 41.7 percent from the field in the first half, and held Kansas State to just 37.9 percent shooting. That changed quickly as the second half of the game unfolded. Kansas State came up firing early, and finished the second period having shot 66 percent from the field. The Hawks shot a season-low 24.1 percent, and making just 7-of-29 from the field.
Kansas State opened the second half on a 29-4 run before the Hawks scored at 11:37 on a three-point basket by Woods. The Hawks found itself way outside of its 38.5 rebounds per game average, losing the rebounding battle 45-28 for the game.
The first half was where the Hawks made a statement against an opponent that could have taken Maryland Eastern Shore lightly. That changed given the whistle to start the second half, and the Hawks were unable to answer with the same confidence that it did in the first period.
Maryland Eastern Shore has three games remaining on its 12-day road trip, and will face a trio of teams that match-up much better with the Hawks style of play. With two days of rest upcoming, the Hawks should be ready to earn some wins come the Jim Thorpe Classic which tips-off November 25.