UMES HANGS TOUGH TO TOP ELIZABETH CITY STATE 68-57 IN EXHIBITION ACTION
Nov. 7, 2007
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - It started out a little scary for the Hawk faithful as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) trailed 34-26 at half time to Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). It didn't last too long however as UMES got it together in the second frame to move on to a 68-57 win over Head Coach Fred Batchelor's former team.
"UMES has a better coach today because of my time with the Lady Vikings," said Batchelor. "But I wasn't going to go giving them a win over us. They have stepped up their program since I was there, so this is a good win, they had 21 victories last year"
The Lady Hawks certainly didn't have thoughts of giving anything to ECSU. They clawed back from a first half that saw Celeste Trahan of ECSU score 17 points. UMES countered with April McBride (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle H.S.) who had 14 at the break and finished with an impressive 21 for the game.
Batchelor made adjustments and the Vikings couldn't find an answer for the Hawks tenacious defense that stifled Trahan holding her to just four second half points. UMES also made second half adjustments offensively. Jessica Ayilola (Brooklyn, N.Y./Robert Morris Univ.) finished the game with a dominating 14 points, only two coming in the first frame, all 14 in the paint. Tiffany Reid (Philadelphia, Pa./National Christian Academy) was the Hawks' third leading scorer with nine. She saw her first action since the 2005-2006 season.
The Lady Hawks also depended on freshmen a lot in the game, as they will for the season. Casey Morton (Mardela Springs, Md./Mardela H.S.) started the game at the point and finished with seven points while Josephine McLane (Centreville, Va./Westfield H.S.) entered as substitute and had eight points on three of eight shooting, including two from behind the arc.
"With a lot of freshmen, and all six played tonight, we will take some time to get comfortable, gain confidence and compete consistently," said Batchelor. "I think you saw that tonight. However, it is also great, we are deep this year. We have a number of kids we can go to. I am comfortable with freshmen on the floor in bunches," he added. "I am really pleased with all the new kids."
Cheniece Arthur was the only other player in double figures for ECSU. She had 13 points. Trahan led all rebounders with 12, giving her a double double on the night.
UMES opens regular season play on Saturday with a non-conference contest against MEAC rival Morgan State. The Lady Bears come to the Hytche Center for a 4 p.m. tip-off on the 10th.