BATCHELOR SOLIDIFIES 100TH WIN BEHIND FANTASTIC DEFENSIVE EFFORT
Jan. 23, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore women’s basketball team did not allow a field-goal over the final eight minutes of play to post a 47-43 victory over Bethune-Cookman University on Monday night at the William P. Hytche Center. With the victory over BCC, head coach Fred Batchelor reached his 100th career win as Hawk in his eighth year at the helm of UMES' women’s basketball program.
“This is a huge conference win to put us over the .500 mark,” said Batchelor. “As for the 100th win, it’s an attribute to UMES. We have been able to maintain the consistency and support to help build a program that is competitive in our league. It has allowed us to be able to continue to build a championship program. The whole thing is an attribute to my coaches, past players and support staff.
UMES (5-11, 3-2 MEAC) posted its third best shooting performance of the season to catapult itself into fifth-place in the MEAC standings. Overall, the Hawks shot 40 percent from the floor and held Bethune-Cookman (6-13, 3-4 MEAC) to just a 5-for-26 performance from the floor in the second-half. Senior forward Adobi Agbasi (Columbus, Ga.) came off the bench to notch five blocks, which increased her season total to 44.
The Hawks picked up the early lead when junior forward Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.) broke the ice with a jumper one minute in. The teams would share scores for the next five minutes before consecutive free-throw makes by Jasmine Elum gave the Wildcats a five-point lead, 12-7, with 14 minutes left in the half.
Following a defensive stalemate for the next several minutes, UMES would tally six unanswered points, four by senior guard Amber Cook (Greensboro, N.C.), to tie the game at 19 all with just under four minutes remaining. Junior guard Sha-Kiyla Finney (Portsmouth, Va.) scored four consecutive points to end the half and give the Hawks a two-point lead, 23-21, at intermission.
The Wildcats did not waste any time in taking hold of the score, as they posted the first five points of the second half to take a three point lead at 18:31 mark. The teams would combine to miss 15 shots over the next seven minutes, before Agbasi drilled a jumper to give the Hawks a one-point lead, 29-28, with just over 11 to go in the game.
UMES would reach a lead as high as four twice over the next three minutes of play. The UMES lead would dwindle to one after a free-throw conversion by Demetria Frank at the 8:19 mark, but the Hawk defense would come on strong. UMES went on to limit BCC to just one-point over the next five minutes of play.
The UMES defense would continue its masterful play to finish the game as the unit kept the lead in check and propelled the Hawks to their third conference win of the year.
The maroon and grey were benefitted by the solid play of Cook, who had team-highs in points (11) and rebounds (seven). Finney led all scorers with 10 first-half points, while Sanders had four assists and senior guard Kwinnyata Mercer (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) buried a trio of three-pointers. UMES finished the game just under 50 percent from three-point range (5-for-11) and registered eight blocks total.
BCC was led by Frank’s 11 points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats saw several solid performances from Cleniece Roberts (10 points, three steals) and Elum (nine points, six rebounds). The Wildcats managed to shoot just 19 percent in the second-half and were 2-for-12 from long-distance in the loss.
UMES returns to action for the final game of its three-game home stand on Wednesday, Jan. 25, when the Hawks host Lincoln (Pa.) University at the William P. Hytche Center. The tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.