UMES SHOOTS FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN VERSUS COPPIN STATE SATURDAY
Feb. 18, 2011
BALTIMORE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball team (8-16, 5-6 MEAC) travels to play Coppin State at the Physical Education Complex Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.
UMES is shooting for its fourth straight victory against the Eagles as the Lady Hawks won the first game in the season series, 66-56, on Jan. 22 and completed their first sweep of CSU since the 1996-97 season last year.
UMES is also hoping to get to .500 in the MEAC with the win and earn just its second victory on the road this season.
Coppin State lost in its last outing, 60-50, at North Carolina Central on Monday. Kyra Coleman led the Eagles with 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting while Larrisa Carter pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds.
UMES heads to Morgan State on Monday at 6:30 p.m., also looking for a season-series sweep. The Lady Hawks topped both CSU and MSU during a 4-1 homestand this season.
LAST TIME OUT: Antonia Bennett and Tameka McKelton combined for 46 points as Florida A&M topped UMES, 81-58, to avoid a season sweep. The Lady Rattlers shot 53.7 percent for the game and outscored the Lady Hawks 47-33 in the second half for the win. Chelsea Sanders led UMES, which fell below .500 in the MEAC at 5-6, with 15 points.
SERIES HISTORY: Saturday's contest between Coppin State and UMES will be 52nd game in the series since it began in the 1985-86 season. UMES won the first six games, from Feb. 2, 1986-Feb. 23, 1988. More recently, the Eagles won 14 of 16 prior the Lady Hawks' first season-series sweep since 1996-97 last year. UMES will be gunning for its second straight series sweep as the Lady Hawks topped Coppin State, 66-56, on Jan. 22.
WILKERSON NAMED MEAC ROOKIE OF WEEK: LaKendra Wilkerson was named MEAC Rookie of the Week on Feb. 14, totaling 12 points and 13 rebounds in losses to North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M. She shot 6-for-11 from the field (54.5 percent) in two games. It marked the team's first weekly honor from the conference this season.
NEARLY HISTORIC: UMES and Howard combined to score 68 points on Saturday as the Lady Bison topped the Lady Hawks, 35-33. The point total was nearly the lowest in NCAA Division I women's basketball history. IUPUI defeated Western Illinois, 34-31, in the record-setting contest on Feb. 10, 2007 in Indianapolis.
MORTON NAMED HSRN NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Casey Morton was named Heritage Sports Radio Network National Player of the Week on Jan. 26. Morton won a fan poll on www.hsrn.com. She averaged 21.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, helping UMES to a 2-1 week. Morton scored a career-high 26 points against B-CU. For the week, she shot 20-for-36 (55.6 percent) overall, 15-for-18 (83.3 percent) from the free-throw line and 10-for-13 (76.9 percent) from 3-point range, The HSRN honor is the third in three seasons for UMES. April McBride was a two-time recipient in the 2008-09 season.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES: Coppin State is coming off a 60-50 loss to North Carolina Central on Monday to fall to 9-14 on the season. The Eagles are in sixth place in the MEAC standings, a half game ahead of both Bethune-Cookman and UMES. As a team the Eagles are second in the league in assists per game at 11.7. Individually, Janine Manley leads the league in field-goal percentage at 52.1 and is 11th in scoring at 11.0 points per game. Larrisa Carter is also third ub field-goal shooting (49.4) sixth in rebounding (7.5). Ashle Craig is sixth in steals at 2.1. Derek Brown is in his 12th season as head coach at Coppin State. His only stop as a collegiate head coach, the Eagles are 189-154 (.551) under Brown's watch.
MORTON JOINS THE CLUB: With 10 points at Savannah State on Jan. 5, Casey Morton became the fourth player in the history of the UMES women's basketball program to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier in her career. Needing seven points coming into the game to achieve it, Morton stripped SSU's Ezinne Kalu and went the other way for a layup with 14:34 left in the first half to reach the milestone. Morton currently has 1,179 points. Monica Felder, `89, April McBride, `10 and Sondra Cockfield, `90 are the three to accomplish the feat at UMES.
DEFENDING THE THREE: UMES leads MEAC and is fifth in the NCAA in 3-point field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 24.8 percent (84-of-339) from downtown. The Lady Hawks even held Syracuse to 1-for-23 from beyond the arc. The Orange missed their first 20 from long range before SU's La'Shay Taft finally sank one with 7:34 to play.
YATA'S SPARK: Junior guard Kwinnyata Mercer has provided quite a spark to the UMES offense in nine games off the bench and six as a starter this season. The 5-foot-8 transfer from Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College and native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., has reached double figures in 11 games to lead the team in that category. She had a breakout performance on Dec. 18. Mercer scored 21 points and added four rebounds and four steals to help keep UMES within striking distance of Towson for most of the day.
THIEVERY: UMES tallied 20 steals at North Carolina Central on Jan. 10, the most a Lady Hawks team has had in the Fred Batchelor era. Both Kwinnyata Mercer and Casey Morton tied for a game-high five steals in the 48-47 win. As a team, UMES is 80th nationally in steals per game, averaging 9.7. Individually, Morton is 232nd the country in the category, averaging 1.9 thefts per contest.
OUT OF TIMEOUTS: With the score tied at 49 and 29 seconds left in regulation on Dec. 8, Long Island's Ashley Palmer called a timeout prior inbounding the ball but LIU didn't have any remaining, resulting in a technical foul, two free throws and the ball for UMES. Kwinnyata Mercer drained both freebies for the lead. The game eventually went to overtime where UMES, prevailed, 58-56. The play was reminiscent Chris Webber's gaffe in the 1993 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball championship game. Up 73-71, with 11 seconds left, Webber called timeout giving UNC a pair of free throws to knot the game. The Tar Heels won the game, 77-71.
MS. 100: Casey Morton drained her 100th career 3-pointer against Syracuse on Dec. 1. Needing just two coming into the game, the senior point guard reached the milestone with 12:06 left in the second half. The shot, coming on a fastbreak, reduced the SU lead to 51-31. Morton's first trey gave UMES its last of three one-point leads in the game - 14-13 with 13:12 remaining in the first half. Morton finished 2-for-5 from downtown on the night. She is now 126-for-446 (28.3 percent) from distance in her career.
MOVIN' ON UP: Casey Morton is currently averaging 11.9 points per game, a 2.6 points per game increase from her average at the end of the 2009-10 season. Morton finished 10th in the MEAC in scoring last season and is now ninth in the conference.
HELPING HAND: UMES tied a season high dishing out 14 assists against Norfolk State on Feb. 5. Chelsea Sanders led the Lady Hawks with four helpers in the 72-49 win over the Spartans. UMES also had 14 assists this season three more times this season, most recently in a 66-56 win over Coppin State on Jan. 22.
AGBASI TOP SHOT BLOCKER: Even though junior Adobi Agbasi missed the first five games of last season recovering from a shoulder injury, she still managed to lead the MEAC in blocks per game. The 6-foot-2 native of Columbus, Ga., swatted 1.5 shots per game. Agbasi also recorded four of the top seven single-game block totals in the conference in 2009-10, including a season high of five at Norfolk State on Feb. 6. Agbasi is currently third in the conference, averaging of 1.2 per game. She had a season-high five against Morgan State on Jan. 24. Her career high is six at home against Syracuse as a freshman on Nov. 15, 2008. She also leads the conference in blocks per game in MEAC games at 1.6 per game.
FIRST 4-1 HOMESTAND SINCE 2005-06: UMES went 4-1 in its last homestand, beating Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, Coppin State and Morgan State between Jan. 15-24. The Lady Hawks last went 4-1 on a five-game homestand from Feb. 16-27, 2006 against, Longwood, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, Coppin State and Morgan State. UMES finished that season 8-4 at the Hytche Center, 16-13 overall and 12-4 in the MEAC.
HOW MUCH YOU BENCH?: The Lady Hawks bench outscored UMBC, 28-13, in the season opener, getting 11 and nine points, respectively, from Kwinnyata Mercer and Latoya Buckner. UMES was able to spread the minutes around playing 12 of 15 players. UMES also outscored Syracuse, 18-15, in the 73-50 loss on Dec. 1. The Lady Hawks chalked up their most decisive victory in bench scoring versus Towson Dec. 18, besting the Tigers' non-starters, 35-17. The UMES bench has outscored the opponents' bench by a 487-392 count this season.
PERFECT FROM DOWNTOWN: Latoya Buckner went 5-for-5 from 3-point range at Delaware State on Jan. 13, tying her career high with 20 points. Her performance marked the first time a UMES player was perfect from downtown in a minimum of three attempts since Jasmine Speed went 3-for-3 on Feb. 21, 2009 in a 72-68 win at Florida A&M. At the time, it also was the first time a Lady Hawk made at least five treys since Josephine McLane was 6-for-10 from deep in a 75-58 victory against Winston-Salem State at the Hytche Center on Jan. 10, 2009. Both Casey Morton and Kwinnyata Mercer were also 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the 69-52 win against Bethune-Cookman on Jan. 17, while Morton was 6-of-7 from downtown against Coppin State.
MORTON DOES THE DISHES: Casey Morton has tallied at least one assist in 101 of 110 career games played in three-plus seasons. In fact, she had a 62-game assist streak snapped last season in a 53-50 loss to Iona at the Hytche Center on Dec. 7. Morton finished 13th in the MEAC in assists per game at 2.6 last season and recorded a career-high seven assists at home against North Carolina Central on Jan. 27. She had 74 assists last season and dished out her 250th career assist against UMBC on Nov. 14. Morton now has a total of 290 for her career.
DOUBLE-FIGURE MORTON: Casey Morton has 62 double-figure scoring games in her career. She tallied 13 games with 10-or-more points in 2009-10, having her season high of 19 versus Delaware State in the MEAC Tournament. She totaled the most games in double digits among the returners as Chelsea Sanders collected the second-most with nine in 17 total games.
FIRST TIME, LONG TIME: With the 64-52 win over UMBC on Nov. 14, the Lady Hawks opened the season with a win for the first time in a decade. The last season-opening victory was against Mississippi Valley State, 63-61, on Nov. 19, 2001.
HOLD `EM TO 60: With the 72-49 win over Norfolk State on Feb. 5, UMES fell to 64-28 (.696) in head coach Fred Batchelor's tenure when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer. Nine of UMES' 12 wins last season and seven-of-eight victories this season came when it did just that. The seventh-year head coach's best mark when limiting the opposition to 60 points was 13-1 during the 2005-06 campaign. The only blemish on the record came in a 60-53 loss to No. 18 Temple at the Hytche Center on Nov. 29, 2005.
SCORE 70: Head coach Fred Batchelor is also 33-8 (.805) in his career at UMES when the Lady Hawks score at least 70 points. UMES last scored at least 70 points in a 72-49 win over Norfolk State on Feb. 5. UMES posted nine wins in each of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons when reaching that benchmark, the most wins in his seven seasons at UMES.
PROTECTING HOME COURT: UMES is 7-5 at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center this season. If the Lady Hawks finish above .500 at home this year, they will have done so for the ninth straight season. UMES is 58-43 (.574) since the 2002-03 season at home and 51-37 (.580) under head coach Fred Batchelor.
TOUGH SLATE: UMES will play a schedule that features games against six teams that advanced to postseason last year. UMES travels to the Carrier Dome on Dec. 1 to face Syracuse, a WNIT quarterfinalist. UMES will also head to the LJVM Coliseum to visit WNIT-qualifier Wake Forest on Dec. 20. On Dec. 22, UMES goes to Charlotte to play the 49ers. Charlotte was beaten by MEAC runner-up N.C. A&T - a team that UMES hosts on Feb. 7 - in the second round of the WNIT. American comes to the Hytche Center as well on Jan. 2. The Eagles fell in the WNIT first round. UMES plays at Hampton, the MEAC's lone representative in the NCAA Tournament on Jan. 31in a women's-men's doubleheader televised live on ESPNU.