FIRST-HALF RUN HELPS UMES OVER UMBC IN OPENER, 64-52
Casey Morton tallied a game-high 11 points and nine rebounds to lift UMES past UMBC Sunday.
Casey Morton tallied a game-high 11 points and nine rebounds to lift UMES past UMBC Sunday.

Nov. 14, 2010

Box Score | Photo Gallery

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Senior Casey Morton (Mardela Springs, Md.) and juniorKwinnyata Mercer (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) scored a game-high 11 points each to lead the University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball team to a 64-52 win in the Hawks' season opener at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center Sunday.

UMES (1-0) opened the season with a win for the first time since Nov. 21, 200l when the Hawks topped Mississippi Valley State on the road. The win is also the first against UMBC (0-2) since Dec. 14, 1987, a 91-83 victory at Tawes Gymnasium.

UMES used a 29-8 run over 11:27 in the first half to take a lead it did not lose the rest of the day. Down, 4-0 in the early going, UMES took advantage of the spurt for its biggest lead at 29-12 with 4:13 left in the opening 20 minutes. Senior Latoya Buckner (Washington, D.C.) canned a 3-pointer from junior Caitlyn Dillard (Lancaster, Pa.) for a 10-8 lead at the 11:21 mark and UMES was on its way.

The Hawks got points from six different players in the decisive stretch.

UMBC, which received 10 points from Chelsea Barker, Tope Obajulo and Erin Brown, shaved the deficit to as little as 10 in the last minute of the half and trailed, 34-22, at intermission.

Junior Bria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y.) hit a three with a 1:35 gone in the second half to push the UMES lead to 38-24 before the Retrievers, held to 32.2 percent (29-for-59) from the floor for the game, used two Barker threes and layups from Opajolu and Brown to get to within 38-34 with 15:35 to play. But a Morton basket from long range on the next possession pushed the lead back to seven midway through the half at 41-34.

Another Buckner three gave UMES its double-digit lead back at the 8:38 mark and put the game out of reach. UMES was 7-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, finishing 10-17 (58.8 percent) for the game. Overall the Hawks shot 20-for-55 from the field.

Morton secured a career-high nine rebounds and was one short of her first double-double in her 87th game at UMES. UMES outrebounded UMBC, 49-35 and outscored the Retrievers' bench, 28-13.

Buckner was 3-for-3 from downtown for nine points and eight rebounds while Mercer was 4-of-6 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from three in her first collegiate game.

UMES is back in action Saturday, Nov. 20 at Mount Saint Mary's in Emmittsburg, Md.