HAWKS SHOT DOWN BY AIR FORCE IN LATE GAME BATTLE
Dec. 18, 2011
Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Trailing by as much as 12 points in the game, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore cut within one point of the lead late in the game but would fall to Air Force 64-60 Saturday night. Three Hawks tallied double figures, while Pina Guillaume marked his first 12-point 11-rebound performance of the season.
Air Force managed its largest lead of the night with 10:06 remaining in the first period, but UMES continued to battle with the Falcons and would trail by just 10 points at halftime.
"We did a lot of things well, but just made some unforced turnovers," said head coach Frankie Allen. UMES won the rebounding battle 36-26, and handled the Falcons on the offensive side of the boards capturing 17 rebounds. "We won the rebounding battle which was a goal for us coming into this game," Allen remarked of his team.
In his debut game, Ron Spencer had a game-high six offensive boards and finished with eight total rebounds.
Spencer helped to light a defensive spark for the Hawks in his first start of the season. "Ron has the skill and ability to be a big boost for us," said Allen. On a play that seemed like it would be an easy two points in the paint ended up being Spencer's first block of season. He finished with three blocks, and scored 11 points for the Hawks.
Spencer not only helped the defense, but his 4-of-8 (.500) shooting from the files and 3-of-5 (.600) certainly boosted the Hawks offensive production.
Teammate Pina Guillaume had a game-high 11 rebounds; five were offensive, and finished with 12 points. Guillaume made a marked improvement given he had been averaging just under six rebounds per game entering Saturday's game.
"Pina's play was solid tonight, and hopefully it was his coming out party." Offensively, Guillaume hit a crucial 18-foot jumper to bring UMES within five points (52-47) with 7:25 remaining. Guillaume's score came after a steal and score by Percy Woods that played into a Hawks 7-0 run.
Woods steal gave UMES a spark that began its run, and etched into the 10-point advantage held by Air Force. Woods had a late game turnover that would put Air Force back on top, but played solid at both ends of the court. Woods finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 (.667) shooting from the field and made 2-of-4 (.500) behind the three-point arc.
The Hawks steadily cut into the Air Force lead in the second half which began with a jumper by Spencer with 12:39 remaining. His score, while the Hawks trailed 46-39, was enough for Woods, Guillaume and Ishaq Pitt to also post scores.
Woods steal and score cut the lead to five, Guillaume would score, then Pitt would hit a jumper to bring UMES within three.
Following a foul on Pitt's shot, he would make the free-throw to close the gap to 52-50. Pitt would later make a lay-up to cut the lead as well as tie the game at 60 apiece with 2:18 remaining in the game.
The Falcons Michael Lyons would score the last four points for Air Force. He would steal the ball and score, and make two free throws to secure the Falcons win. Given the come-from-behind attempt at the win, UMES outscored Air Force 28-22 in the second half. Air Force opened the game on a 9-3 run for the first 4:30.
UMES will not have a contest for the next nine days, but will return to the floor against the University of Virginia (Dec. 27) following the holiday break.