LADY HAWKS PICK UP FIRST MEAC VICTORY OVER NC CENTRAL
Sophomore Ashleigh Claybrooks (pictured) notched her fifth-career double-double in the victory over NCCU
Sophomore Ashleigh Claybrooks (pictured) notched her fifth-career double-double in the victory over NCCU

Feb. 3, 2014

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) women’s basketball team picked up their first conference win of the season as they knocked off the Lady Eagles of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), 72-57. With the victory, the Lady Hawks improved to 5-14 overall (1-6 MEAC) while NCCU dropped to 8-13 (3-5 MEAC) on the season. Maryland Eastern Shore has won seven of the last eight contests against the Lady Eagles.

Sophomore forward Ashleigh Claybrooks (Manassas, Va.) provided the low-post presence for the Lady Hawks as she ended her night with 16 points and 10 boards while sophomore forward/center Alexis Udoji (Randolph, Mass.) filled the stat sheet, recording 11 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high seven assists in the win.

After the first eight minutes of the second half, both teams were in a stalemate as neither team was unable to find any rhythm. The Lady Eagles narrowed the gap as low as 12-points, but Maryland Eastern Shore constantly responded and grew the lead as much as 18-points, 65-47, including a jumper by Taylor Thompson (Chapel Hill, N.C.), with nearly four-and-a-half left in regulation. NCCU made a late run, but UMES was able to hit their free-throws down the stretch to pick their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) victory of the season, 72-57.

Other notable Hawk performances included Jessica Long (Fort Washington, N.C.) registering 14 points and five dimes whereas Taryana Kelly (North Brunswick, N.J.) and Shawnee Sweeney (Chester, Va.) combined for 17 points and 10 boards in the victory.

UMES trailed the Lady Eagles early, 11-6, until the Lady Hawks stormed back to take the lead, 15-13, after a jumper from Thompson with less than 12 minutes before intermission. In the next four minutes, Maryland Eastern Shore balloon the lead to nine, 24-15, until NCCU cut the deficit to five, 25-20. In the final eight minutes of the half, the Lady Hawks clamped down on the defensive end, forcing 13 first half Lady Eagles’ turnovers, and ended the first half on a 15-4 run to take a halftime lead, 40-24. In the first half, UMES shot 50-percent (16-for-32) from the floor, including 4-of-8 beyond the arc.

For NCCU, Racquel Davis posted 18 points, including a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, while Jessica Freeman added 11 points in a losing effort.

This Saturday (02/08), the Lady Hawks conclude their four-game home-stand versus Coppin State University (CSU). Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m. (EST), followed by the men at 4:00 p.m. (EST)

For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com.