BRILLIANT SECOND-HALF PERFORMANCE LEADS HAWKS TO CONVINCING WIN AT MORGAN ST.
Feb. 11, 2012
BALTIMORE, Md. - In a rematch of last season's Mid Eastern Athletic Conference quarterfinals game, it was the University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball team that prevailed, as the Hawks posted a season-high in points to collect a 75-57 victory over Morgan State University at Hill Field House on Saturday afternoon.
In what appeared to be a nail biter after the first-half, it was all UMES in the second as the Hawks went on a 21-3 run over a nine-minute span to post their sixth MEAC victory of the season. UMES held a plus-22 advantage in rebounds and shot 56 percent from the floor in the final frame.
For the second straight game, it was the double-double performance of senior forward Adobi Agbasi (Columbus, Ga.) that silenced the opposition. The senior finished with a career-high 17 rebounds to post the most rebounds by a Hawk player in over four years. She continued on with 16 points and seven blocks to compliment a 7-for-16 shooting performance.
The seven blocks propelled the MEAC's top shot-blocker to eclipse 200 for the season as she now stands 25 blocks away from Kristi Veltkamp's all-time blocks record.
UMES (9-13, 6-4 MEAC) opened the game with an 8-3 scoring advantage to take a five-point lead after three minutes of play. MSU would come storming back as a three-pointer by Whitney Southerland gave the Bears their first lead of the game, 12-11, after five minutes.
Morgan State (6-18, 3-8 MEAC) continued to hold its lead until Agbasi connected on a jumper in the paint to give UMES the advantage. The UMES defense would hold the opposition without a point over the next four minutes and saw its lead increase to seven after a three-pointer by senior guard Kwinnyata Mercer (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) with 8:41 to go.
The margin was short lived as the Bears posted their second big run of the period to overtake the Hawks and hold a four-point lead, 29-25, with four minutes left. UMES went on an 8-2 run across the final four minutes as senior forward Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.) hit a jumper with six second remaining to send the Hawks into halftime up two, 33-31.
After trading baskets to begin the second, UMES scored 11 answered points and held the Bears scoreless over a five minute span to take a 13-point lead, 49-36, with just over 13 minutes remaining. UMES went on to continue its onslaught as Agbasi made two free-throws to cap a 21-3 run and pushed the Hawks' lead to 20, 59-39, with 9:22 left.
The Hawks continued to hold onto the lopsided score for the next several minutes before the Bears scored eight consecutive points to trim UMES' lead to 12, 65-53, with just over six remaining. The challenge would not faze the Hawks as UMES would respond by scoring the game's next six points to send the Bears to their fourth straight MEAC loss.
UMES saw four different players register double-digit points as junior forward Chelsea Sanders (Rochester, N.Y.) led the way with a game-high 23 points. It was the sixth consecutive game and 14th time this season that the junior has posted a team-high in points. Sanders is now averaging 20 points-per-game over the past six games.
Freshman forward Porsha Barr (Waldorf, Md.) scored a career-high 11 points, while junior guard Karona Roach (Bear, Del.) had 10. Sophomore forward Shanyce Stewart (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) had 13 rebounds and senior guard Amber Cook (Greensboro, N.C.) had 11 and a game-high four assists.
Morgan State was paced by Carrington's 10 points, while Omara Parker had a team-high 10 rebounds and Chyress Lockhart dished out three assists. The Bears shot just 29 percent from the floor in the game and were outrebounded 62-32 altogether.
The Hawks look to continue their winning ways when they hit the road for Coppin State University on Monday, Feb. 13 at 5:30.
For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com