HAWK RALLY FALLS JUST SHORT IN LOSS TO FLORIDA A&M
Jan. 21, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball team narrowed a 13-point deficit to one possession with less than a minute remaining, but could not get over the hump as the Hawks dropped a 54-49 decision to Florida A&M University before 1,732 at the William P. Hytche Center on Saturday afternoon.
UMES (4-11, 2-2 MEAC) provided a valiant late second-half rally as the squad used five consecutive points by sophomore forward Shanyce Stewart (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) with two minutes left in regulation to spearhead an 11-1 run. Senior guard Amber Cook (Greensboro, N.C.) made four consecutive free-throws to bring the game to its second closest margin, 52-49, with 37 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout and a Rattler turnover, the Hawks had a chance to even the contest but the ensuing shot fell just off its mark as FAMU would hold onto its lead and send the Hawks to the loss in their first home game in seven weeks.
FAMU (13-6, 6-0 MEAC) raced out to an 11-0 lead after three minutes of play. A layup by freshman forward Porsha Barr (Waldorf, Md.) would finally get the Hawks on the board, but the Rattlers would score the next five points of the game to take a 16-2 lead with 11 minutes remaining. UMES used another layup by Stewart to collect a 14-7 scoring advantage over the next seven minutes of play to cut the FAMU lead to seven, 23-16.
Defense was the name of the game for the rest of the first half as the teams combined to force 10 missed field goals over the final three minutes. The halftime score saw Florida A&M up by seven, 25-18.
The second half began with the teams trading jumpers before consecutive free-throw makes by Tameka McKelton gave FAMU an 11-point lead, 33-22, with 13:22 left in the game.
Senior guard Kwinnyata Mercer (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) would catch fire temporarily with five consecutive points, and Cook and junior forward Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.) combined for five of their own to cut the once double-digit margin to just two, 34-32, with half of a frame to go.
FAMU would work on building its lead back over the next several minutes as the Rattlers moved their margin to 13 points after a layup by Qiana Donald.
The large lead proved to be short lived as the Hawks went on the late run to make the decision open until the final whistle. FAMU would eventually run out the clock as the Rattlers posted their 10th consecutive win to stay atop the MEAC standings.
The Hawks were led by Sanders, who had team-highs in points (10) and rebounds (eight). Senior forward Adobi Agbasi (Columbus, Ga.) had a game-high four blocks to move her season total to 39, while freshman guard Jessica Long (Fort Washington, Md.) had a season-high five steals. Cook (nine points, seven rebounds) finished the day 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, as she has now missed just twice in her past 31 attempts from the line.
FAMU was paced by the double-double effort of Antonia Bennett (11 points, 11 rebounds), while Donald notched a game-high 14 points. The Rattlers were aided by a 10-for-33 effort from the floor in the first-half.
UMES looks to get back into the win column when the Hawks host Bethune-Cookman University on Monday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. The game will be the second of three consecutive home contests for the Hawks.
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