HAWKS DROP OPENING GAME VERSUS LOUISIANA TECH IN JIM THORPE CLASSIC
Hillary Haley guards the ball while waiting for open shot.
Hillary Haley guards the ball while waiting for open shot.
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore dropped its game to Louisiana Tech 73-54 Friday. Hillary Haley and Percy Woods led the Hawks with 15 points each.

This was Haley's first game scoring double figures for the Hawks. In just 20 minutes of play, Haley was a spark for the Hawks coming in with 15:00 remaining in the first half to score five points early. He would hit two-free throws at the end of the half to help the Hawks enter intermission with the lead for just the second time this year. Haley was second on the team in rebounds with seven, and was 5-of-6 (.833) at the free-throw line.

Woods was 6-of-12 (.500) from the floor in 34 minutes of play. In a stretch of 3-minutes and 30-seconds (in the second half), Woods scored five points for the Hawks. Along with Louis Bell, Woods has carried the Hawks over the last three games, tallying 44 total points (14.6 PPG).

As a team, the Hawks shot better than 50 percent in the first half (10-of-20), but that accuracy dropped in the second half to less than 30 percent (8-of-27). The Hawks have struggled in one half or the other all season.

The Hawks, down as much as seven points at 9:11 in the first half, fought back to steadily cut into the Bulldogs lead. The comeback began with a lay-up by Pina Guillaume and a fast break dunk by Haley to cut the lead to just three points with a little over 8:30 remaining in the first period.

A three pointer by Bell tied the game (19-19) for only the second time at 7:50. The Hawks fell behind briefly within the last five minutes before two free throws by Ishaq Pitt gave UMES a two-point advantage.

Louisiana Tech tied the game for the fourth time, but just seconds later Guillaume would convert an attempt in the paint to give the Hawks a 31-29 advantage as the first half came to a close. For only the second time this season UMES has led entering halftime, with the first being in a win against American.

In the first half alone, both teams tallied 12 points in the paint, while UMES notched 17 points scored from its bench.

UMES added 12 more points in the paint in the second half, and just five points from its bench.

The Hawks will hope to rebound Saturday when they face the University of Wyoming at 7 PM (MT), 9 PM (ET). UMES will face Portland State on Sunday to conclude the Jim Thorpe Classic.