LADY HAWKS PLAY FINAL REGULAR SEASON GAME AGAINST SAVANNAH STATE
March 6, 2013
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Playing their final game before next week's MEAC Tournament, the Lady Hawks fly down to Georgia to take on Savannah State for a 6 p.m. contest on Thursday at the Tiger Arena.
Tickets for the doubleheader in Savannah are available for purchase online through the Savannah State athletics web site. Tickets range from $5 to $15 and are also available at will call on the day of the game.
UMES enters into Thursday game in 11th place in the MEAC at 3-12 in-conference and 7-19 overall. Savannah State is tied for 12th place in the league at 2-13 in the MEAC, standing 7-21 this season.
LAST TIME OUT: UMES earned an early 18-7 lead against its in-state rival using its strong frontcourt and led at halftime, but Coppin State surged ahead in the second half and too kthe victory 69-60 in Baltimore. Down 65-49 at the final media timeout, the Lady Hawks put together a 9-0 run with 1:04 left, but the team could not get closer. Sha-Kiyla Finney scored 16 points, her best career-total against a MEAC team, including four assists and going 6-6 from the free throw line. Alexis Udoji earned a career-high 12 points, also contributing six boards and four blocks. For the Eagles, Kyra Coleman got 16 points, going 10-13 on free throws, while Shawntae Payne concluded with 14 points off the bench.
SERIES HISTORY: The Lady Hawks have played the relatively-new MEAC member Savannah State six times, defeating the Lady Tigers in four of them, including twice last year. UMES defeated Savannah State in Princess Anne last season then knocked the Lady Tigers out of the 2012 MEAC Tournament with a 51-28 win on March 5th in Winston-Salem. Kwinnyata Mercer had 17 points, while Adobi Agbasi had a double double with 13 points and 12 boards. Leading the Lady Tigers was Ezinne Kalu, who had 12 points and eight rebounds.
SCOUTING THE LADY TIGERS: Savannah State is currently tied for 12th place in the MEAC with a 2-13 conference record and 7-21 overall standing. The Lady Tigers have fallen in their last six games, last winning 49-46 on February 9th against South Carolina State. Senior forward Erin Hogue nearly averages a double double a game, getting 11.7 points and 9.8 rebounds a contest. Backcourt player Andrietta Thomas averages 9.7 points and 4.2 boards per game.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Senior Karona Roach is doing it all for UMES this season. She is averaging 11.9 points per contest this season, leading the team in scoring in 14 out of 26 games and standing 13th in the MEAC in points per game, scoring a combined 50 points in two games against Norfolk State. She also leads the team with 43 steals, 89 free throws and 60 assists. Roach stands in the top-15 in the conference in scoring, free throw percentage, assists per game and three-point shooting percentage.
UDOJI - MEAC'S TOP SHOT BLOCKER: Alexis Udoji currently leads the MEAC with 60 blocks and 2.4 blocked shots per game. The two-time MEAC Rookie of the Week swatted away a career-high seven shots in a win against North Carolina Central. Udoji shoots 39% and is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds a contest.
FINNEY FINISHING FANTASTICALLY: Sha-Kiyla Finney, who played her last home game at the Hytche on February 26th, has earned double digit scoring contests twice in her last three games. In those games she has totaled 32 points and 14 rebounds, including four assists against Coppin State. In addition, she is a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line is those contests.
NEVER COUNT OUT THE LADY HAWKS: With UMES's comeback victory over Morgan State on February 16th, the Lady Hawks have twice comeback in the final three minutes to win a game. On November 17th, Karona Roach hit a three in the final minute of the game to pull ahead of Elizabeth City State. UMES won the game 66-62 at the Hytche.
RETURNING GUARDS GREATLY IMPROVING SCORING: Three UMES guards have at least or nearly tripled their average offensive output from last season. UMES's leading scorer Karona Roach is scoring 11.9 points a contest after averaging just four last year. Sha-Kiyla Finney was averaging 2.3 points per game in the 2011-12 season and this year earns 7.7 points a contest, helped by scoring 16 points against Coppin State. Shawnee Sweeney is getting 7.5 points a game, almost quadruple her 1.9 points a game output last season.
UMES ROOKIES ARE STRONG IN THE FRONTCOURT: The UMES freshmen have been strong players in the frontcourt, leading the MEAC in Rookie of the Week awards with four. Ashleigh Claybrooks and Alexis Udoji have each earned a pair of weekly rookie awards. Claybrooks leads all UMES freshmen with 6.9 points a game, adding 5.2 boards per contest. Udoji is second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 boards each game and is the MEAC's top shot blocker.
SCORING DROUGHT BROKEN?: Despite being defeated by Coppin State on Monday, the Lady Hawks shot 43.2% from the field, the best percentage in the last eight games, and scored at least 60 points since their 72-53 win over North Carolina Central on February 4th. UMES had shot above 40% just three times this season and is 2-1 in those games. The frontcourt was a big part of this win: Alexis Udoji, Ashleigh Claybrooks and Taylor Thompson combined to shoot 10-14 from the floor (71.4%) and 8-12 from the free throw line (75%), combining to score 26 points in the defeat on Monday.