LADY HAWKS OPEN AGAINST NORFOLK STATE IN MEAC TOURNAMENT
Jessica Long (pictured) and the Lady Hawks look to upset Norfolk State in the opening round of the MEAC Tournament
Jessica Long (pictured) and the Lady Hawks look to upset Norfolk State in the opening round of the MEAC Tournament

March 9, 2014

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Tomorrow (03/10), the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) women’s basketball team opens the 2013-14 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament against the Spartans of Norfolk State University (NSU) inside the Norfolk Scope Arena, locate in Norfolk Va. Game-time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (EST)

LAST TIMEOUT

UMES erased a fourteen-point deficit to comeback and knock off Delaware State University (DSU) in overtime, 74-71, to secure the eleventh spot in the tournament.

In the waning moments, UMES stormed back and tied the contest after back-to-back clutch free-throws from Ashleigh Claybrooks (Manassas, Va.), 57-57, with eight ticks left. In five seconds, the Lady Hornets’ Jade Washington hit a layup for the go-ahead lead, 59-57, leaving Maryland Eastern Shore with little chance to respond. With exactly 0.3 on the clock, Jessica Long (For Washington, Md. threw a three-quarters court pass to TeAmber Burke (Washington, N.C.) and she nailed the jump shot as time expired to send the game into overtime, 59-59.

In the extra period, Claybrooks scored the first bucket to give UMES the early lead in OT, 61-59, but a layup from DSU’s Tylinn Carter tied the game, 61-61. Nearly two-and-a-half minutes into overtime, both clubs were deadlocked, 65-65, until a freebie from Long gave the Lady Hawks the go-ahead lead, 66-65. Long nailed clutch free-throws down the stretch and sealed the comeback for Maryland Eastern Shore, 74-71.

TOP PERFORMERS

Freshman guard Mariah McCoy (Rock Hill, S.C.) led the charge for the Lady Hawks as she finished with a game-high 21 points while Burke added 13 points, including the game-tying shot to send the game into overtime.

Other notable Hawk performances included Claybrooks recording her ninth-career double-double whereas Long and Shawnee Sweeney (Chester, Va.) netted 20 points total in the win.

MATCHUP PREVIEW

Monday’s matchup is the third installment this season between UMES and NSU with the Spartans sweeping the season-series, 2-0. As of today, Norfolk State leads the all-time series, 23-13, including a perfect 3-0 in postseason play against the Lady Hawks.

The last postseason contest between these two institutions was over seven seasons ago (03/06/07) where NSU knocked off Maryland Eastern Shore, 58-54, inside the RBC Center, located in Raleigh, N.C. Qiana Cheatham notched a team-high 15 points while April McBride chipped in 13 points in a losing effort.

On Jan. 11th, Norfolk State defeated the Lady Hawks, 73-66, at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. In that game, Long led the Hawk attack, recording a new career-high 29 points while UMES bench, led by Burke, Claybrooks, and Chalyse Taylor (Louisville, Ky.), tallied nine points each in the loss. For the Spartans, Rachel Gordon recorded a double-double while Rae Corbo added a team-high 20 points in the victory.

Nearly a week ago (03/03), the women’s basketball team battled until the final buzzer, but were unable to complete the comeback as they fell to the Spartans, 61-57, inside Echols Hall. In that contest, UMES was nearly perfect from the free-throw line as the team shot 93-percent (14-of-15), led by Long ending her night with a game-high 19 points, including a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. Other notable Hawk performances included Sweeney recording nine points, including 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, while Claybrooks and McCoy each notched eight points in the loss.

Since then, Norfolk State wrapped up the regular-season, posting a 12-15 overall record (8-8 MEAC), including a home loss to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), 63-53. Corbo and Gordon have guided the Spartans to the No. 6 seed in the tournament and looking to make a deep run. Corbo leads the team in scoring, 12.4 points-per-game (PPG), while Gordon, a MEAC Defensive Player of the Year candidate, continues to be a double-double machine, averaging 11.4PPG and 11.9 rebounds-per-game (RPG). Other notable Spartan is MEAC Rookie of the Year candidate, Logan Powell.

For the Lady Hawks, they knocked off DSU to stop a four-game skid and built some momentum going into the MEAC Tournament. UMES finished the regular-season with an 8-20 overall record (4-12 MEAC) and earned the eleventh-seed. Throughout the season, Long, named to the College Sports Madness 2013-14 MEAC All-Conference Team, has provided energy on both ends of the court as she leads the team in multiple categories, including points (14.4), assists (4.3), and steals (1.9). Sweeney has proven to be one of the best shooters in the MEAC as she led the conference in three-pointers-made-per-game (2.6). Click Here to view UMES Game Notes versus Norfolk State.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

A victory will give the Lady Hawks two days off in preparation to face the No.3 seed in the tournament, Coppin State University. The contest will take place on Thursday, March 13th at noon (EST) A UMES loss will end their 2013-14 campaign.

For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com.