UMES COMES BACK HOME TO TAKE ON TOWSON
Dec. 7, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The Lady Hawks (1-4) return to the Hytche Athletic Center to take on in-state rival Towson (4-2) on Saturday at 2 p.m. UMES continues non-conference play and is looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
Tickets for the matinee are just five dollars for the general public. All UMES faculty and full-time registered students can enter for free with a school ID.
LAST TIME OUT: Despite coming back from down 12 points in the second half, capped by a Karona Roach three with 54 seconds remaining, UMES fell to Mount St. Mary's 62-58 in Emmitsburg on Wednesday for its third-straight defeat. The Lady Hawks trailed 51-39 with under ten minutes to play, using free throws and a couple of three-point shots to tie it up on a Roach three at 58-58, but the Mount hit four free throws in the final minute to get the victory. Roach led UMES in points for the fourth consecutive game with a career-high of 20. Ashleigh Claybrooks had a near double double with 11 points and nine rebounds. The Mount point guard Selina Mann had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.
SERIES HISTORY: UMES is looking for its first win ever against Towson, standing 0-10 against the Tigers. The Lady Hawks are 0-2 against Colonial Athletic Association opponents, while the Tigers are 2-0 vs. the MEAC with wins over Coppin State and Morgan State. Last season at Towson, the Lady Hawks were defeated 58-45 despite a strong effort from the freshmen. Jessica Long led UMES with 11 points and five steals, while Shawnee Sweeney finished with nine points. Tanisha McTiller had a team-high 14 points for the Tigers.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Towson, picked to finish 9th in the Colonial Athletic Association, stands at 4-2 this season, coming off a road overtime loss to LIU Brooklyn last Saturday. Junior guard Tanisha McTiller leads the team in multiple categories, contributing 15.3 points, 4.7 assists, 2.7 steals and 6.7 boards per game. Redshirt junior forward Nyree Williams averages a double double with 10 points and 10.3 rebounds each contest.
KARONA LEADS THE WAY: Coming into this season having averaged 2.5 points per game in three years, senior Karona Roach is averaging 13.6 points per contest, leading UMES in scoring the past four games. She earned a career-high 20 points against Mount St. Mary's last time out, passing her previous high of 17 against Elizabeth City State. She also leads the team with 15 steals and 11 assists.
YOU DON'T SCORE ON UDOJI: Filling the void left by the graduating Adobi Agbasi, freshman Alexis Udoji has blocked 10 shots in her first five games, tied for second in the MEAC with a pair of blocks a game, including four against Elizabeth City State. She is shooting 40.9% from the field and has earned a MEAC Rookie of the Week award for the period ending November 19th.
FOLLOW THE FRESHMEN: UMES is a very young squad this season, including eight freshmen on the roster. Those freshmen have combined for over 40% of UMES's minutes this season. Alexis Udoji has had the most time of the freshmen, averaging 24 minutes a game, while Ashleigh Claybrooks is second with 18.2 minutes a contest.
UMES PREDICTED TO FINISH SIXTH IN THE MEAC: In the preseason predictions, UMES was picked to finish sixth in the MEAC after earning the 6-seed in the conference tournament last season. MEAC runner-up Howard received 15 out of a possible 26 first-place votes and is predicted to win the conference, while defending MEAC champion Hampton is predicted to get second, earning seven first-place votes.
LADY HAWKS CONTROL THE PERIMETER: UMES stands in the top-five in the MEAC in both three-point shooting and perimeter shooting defense this season. Shooting just under 30% from three-point range, UMES is 4th in the conference in that category, led by Karona Roach, who is 8-17 (47.1%) for three in her first five games. On the defensive side, opponents are shooting just 26.6% for three. The Lady Hawks begun the season allowing just one three-point make from George Mason.
NO PLACE LIKE HYTCHE: UMES is set to play 13 home games this year, including five non-conference contests against local opponents. The Lady Hawks started the year with an exhibition home win over Wilmington 72-52, then followed up with a home opener victory over Elizabeth City State 66-62. UMES fell to Old Dominion at home and will later take on Towson, American and UMBC before the turn of the new year.