SHOOTING STRUGGLES PLAGUE UNIV. OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE
Dec. 27, 2011
Charlottesville, Va. --The 23rd ranked University of Virginia opened to a 9-0 run in the first period before the University of Maryland Eastern men's basketball team scored its first basket. Virginia continued to hold off its non-conference opponent to defeat UMES 69-42 Tuesday night.
"Virginia is one of the toughest defensive teams we will face all season," said head coach Frankie Allen. Virginia held UMES to its lowest shooting percentage (.278) and point total (42) of the season. The Cavaliers had 10 more defensive rebounds (30-20) and won the rebounding battle outright 41-29.
Considering the tough defensive stance by Virginia, Ronald Spencer opened the game with the first score for the Hawks. Spencer finished with nine points and seven rebounds. He had the second best shooting percentage making 50 percent of his attempts (3-of-6) from the floor, and was perfect at the free-throw line (3-of-3).
Hillary Haley had a team-high 11 points and was the only Hawk to tally double figures. Haley converted a crucial three-pointer with 5:35 remaining in the half to end a 12-0 run by the Cavaliers and bring the Hawks within eight points (26-18).
Ishaq Pitt scored at two important times in the first half for UMES. The first score brought the Hawks within six points (19-13). The second time was with four seconds remaining to close the gap to 10 points (30-20) entering halftime. "We played them tough for 17 minutes," Coach Allen remarked.
Usual scorers Percy Woods and Louis Bell struggled to get much offensive production going for the Hawks. The team shot a lowly 27.6 percent (8-of-29) in the first half and shot slightly better in the second half. UMES had its best performance at the free-throw line making 8-of-9 (.889).
Considering the stout defensive play by Virginia, the Hawks had just 12 turnovers for the game, two more than the Cavaliers. Coach Allen expressed that the Hawks just had a lapses in its play that allowed Virginia to score seemingly at-will.
UMES will have until January 3 when it travels to Lehigh to solidify its shooting and rebounding. Lehigh is a similar team to Virginia, but a team that UMES can compete with. Lehigh will be the Hawks last non-conference opponent before returning to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play Jan. 7 when it travels to Norfolk State.