KARONA ROACH'S LATE THREE GIVES UMES WIN OVER ELIZABETH CITY
Karona Roach's game-winning shot gave her 17 points in the victory.
Karona Roach's game-winning shot gave her 17 points in the victory.

Nov. 17, 2012

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - With UMES down by two points with 24 seconds remaining, Karona Roach buried a three to give the Maroon and Gray the lead for good over Elizabeth City State as the Lady Hawks won 66-62 for their first victory of the season. UMES improves to 1-1, while ECSU falls to 3-1.

UMES avenges its loss from last season against Fred Batchelor's former team by winning its home opener.

Taylor Thompson(Chapel Hill, N.C.) got the scoring started on a second chance layup for an early 2-0 lead. Starting with a couple of De'Rya Wylie layups, Elizabeth City countered with a 6-0 run to go up 6-2.

UMES responded with five substitutions, with Alexis Udoji (Randolph, Mass.) hitting a layup out of the break in play. Roach (Bear, Del.) evened the score off a defensive rebound, scoring a jumper in the other basket, then stealing the next possession and feeding Sha-Kiyla Finney (Portsmouth, Va.) on a fastbreak layup to give UMES an 8-6 lead with 14:25 left in the half.

The Lady Hawks defense held, not allowing a basket in over five minutes. A couple of UMES free throws and a Shawnee Sweeney (Colonial Heights, Va.) three-pointer finished a 12-0 run by the home team to push UMES up 14-6.

ECSU baskets were countered by UMES makes, as baskets by Sweeney and Jessica Long (Fort Washington, Md.) kept the Lady Hawks ahead 22-13 with 8:34 remaining in the first period.

A 6-0 ECSU run in just over a minute's time off four free throws from Shatara Jackson and a Stephanie Harper layup pulled the Lady Vikings within three 22-19.

Udoji helped the cause with her 6-4 frame: at 24-21 UMES, she converted a layup and one, then later after a Jasmine Whitehurst three, a pair of free throws near the five-minute mark kept the Maroon and Gray up 29-24.

The Lady Hawks held off ECSU for the remainder of the period, staying ahead by at least a possession until halftime. A Udoji layup and DaShera Boone three-pointer late put the score at 35-33 UMES at the half. Udoji finished the first half shooting 4-5 with 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks to lead the Lady Hawks.

Into the second half, Udoji blocked and rebounded a Harper shot. The other way, Shanyce Stewart (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) hit a layup 15 seconds later to push UMES up 37-33.

The Lady Hawks kept ahead of the visitors, with a Sweeney jumper giving UMES a 42-39 lead. Whitehurst hit a layup about 30 seconds later to put the score at 42-41 UMES with 14:55 to play.

The defenses held strong in the next two minutes, with an Udoji block and Kiana Sturgis (Pocomoke City, Md.) stealkeeping Elizabeth City off the board. But Harper hit a pair of free throws just after the scoreboard clock struck 13:00, following up with a layup to complete a 6-0 ECSU run to pull the Lady Vikings ahead 45-42.

Now UMES tried to respond, pulling closer on an Ashleigh Claybrooks (Manassas, Va.) layup, but was countered by two more Harper free throws. Down 49-46, a Claybrooks free throw and Roach jumper tied the game at 49 with 9:18 left. Again Harper came up with points, netting a layup on the next possession to push ECSU back in the lead, adding a pair of Whitehurst free throws for a 53-49 visitors' advantage.

Roach tried to get UMES closer, hitting a three from the corner at the 7:15 mark to get UMES within one, later responding to a Shawnte Taylor layup with a good jump shot the other way to UMES within one 55-54 with just under five minutes left.

Again Harper scored late, netting a layup and later hitting a pair of free throws with 3:33 remaining to get ECSU's lead to five points. The next possession, Sweeney hit a putback layup to bring UMES back within three 59-56 with 3:21 left.

The two sides traded possessions without points until with 1:24 left, Taylor hit a jumper for ECSU. The other way, Roach got the points back on two made free throws. Next possession, Long stole the ball and was fouled in transition, making her two free throws to pull UMES within one 61-60 with just over a minute left.

After ECSU hit a free throw and missed two others, UMES got possession with 39 seconds left. Long fed Roach, who buried a three-point to give the Lady Hawks back the lead 63-62 with just 24 seconds left.

Ten seconds later, Jackson turned the ball over to give it back to UMES. After getting fouled, Long hit two free throws for a three-point UMES advantage. Whitehurst missed a three in the last attempt for ECSU, as Finney hit a free throw with two seconds left to seal it for the Lady Hawks 66-62.

Roach finished with 17 points off 5-10 shooting, including 2-3 from three-point range, a career-high six steals and three assists. Udoji nearly got a double double with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Sweeney had a career-high in points with 13, going 5-11 from the field.

For the Lady Vikings, Harper shot 8-13 from the floor for 22 points, adding seven rebounds and three steals. Jackson had 11 points, eight boards and five steals, while Whitehurst got 12 points and six rebounds.

UMES will stay at home to take on Old Dominion on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Hytche Athletic Center.