HAWK TALK, Weeks of Dec. 19 - Jan. 1

Jan. 3, 2006

By Chevonne Mansfield
UMES Sports Information

Week in Review (Dec. 19 - Jan. 1)

The winter holiday break featured both the Men's and Women's Basketball squads, as well as the Women's Bowling squad, in road action. The Fighting Hawks traveled to Rhode Island to face Brown on December 20 while the Lady Hawks faced off with St. Francis (NY) on December 21. Women's Basketball battled Furman and Central Connecticut State in the Terrapin Classic on December 29-30, while Women's Bowling competed at the Holiday Jamboree on December 28.

The UMES Women's Bowling Team may have struggled a little this past weekend at the FDU Holiday Jamboree hosted by Fairleigh Dickinson University. That all depends on how you define struggled. While the Lady Hawks only managed a 6-7 record in NCAA matches, they rolled so well to take second place overall in the 11-team field.

It seemed that every time UMES rolled a high pin-fall game, their opponent matched it. That happened seven times. The field was a combination of two existing tournaments that were combined into one. It featured total pin fall team games, Baker games, single matches and double matches. All played a part in the Hawks' second place finish.

One of the best performances was the doubles tandem of Jessica Worsley and Megan Raymond. They tallied 1,121 as a duo just 15 pins from the first place finish. Christine King and Kristie Minnis were 15th with a 967.

To open the event the Hawks took on St. Paul's College and picked up a win, 990-703. In the second match UMES was downed by New Jersey City 923-840 and then defeated by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 868-785. In between those two matches UMES rolled a blind, a match against an average for neither a win nor loss but to keep every team's games played the same. They concluded day one with a win over Cheyney, 880-569.

Individually the Hawks got 200 games from Laura Zanrucha (204 & 214), Raymond (213), Worsley (202) and MaryEtta Lewis (234).

Day two of the event were Baker games. On day two the Hawks picked up three wins and two losses. The defending National Championship runners-up, FDU, defeated the Hawks 810-713 while the third match had MEAC rival Delaware State knocking off the Hawks, 691-654. Their wins were over Coppin State (723-501), Howard (767-560) and North Carolina A&T (NCAT) (685-650).

Just one day later UMES was back to pin fall matches, falling 913-855 to Morgan State, defeating St. Paul's 909-727 and losing to New Jersey City 860-822. Jamie Culbreth was the only 200 game roller with a 212 against St. Paul's. Later that day UMES rolled one baker match against FDU and fell 1131-1068 in a six game match.

With a total pin fall for the three days of 10495 UMES stood in third place behind FDU and New Jersey City (NJCU). NCAT was in fourth. Those four teams matched up in a step-ladder format for a tournament title. With one playing four and two bowling three the Hawks had to take on NJCU once again. This time they took the win when it counted for a second place finish. Unfortunately for the Hawks the match cannot count in NCAA standings due to a rule about playing a team once a day.

Individually the Hawks placed Zanrucha as the sixth highest individual performer. She tallied 2,066 pins, 153 pins out of first. Also in the top ten was Lewis in eighth with 2,024 and Worsley in tenth with 2,023. Raymond was 36th, Culbreth was 47th, King was 54th and Jennifer Davis 57th. Minnis was in 66th place and Sara DiScioscia was 71st, both saw limited action.

UMES is next in action later this month on the 21st and 22nd in Baltimore, MD at a MEAC Northern Division meet.

In Men's Basketball action, Jesse Brooks and Tim Parham each made two key free throws in the final 28 seconds as Maryland-Eastern Shore rallied for a 59-57 victory over Brown on December 20.

Brooks made 1-of-2 attempts to give the Hawks (3-8) a 56-54 lead with 28 seconds left.

Brown (2-6) had an opportunity to take the lead, but Mark MacDonald missed a 3-point shot.

Parham followed by sinking two more free throws for a 58-54 lead, before Brown's Marcus Becker hit a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining. Parham's 15 points, combined with his 15 rebounds accounted for his sixth double double in just 11 games.

Parham followed by sinking two more free throws for a 58-54 lead, before Brown's Marcus Becker hit a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining.

Parham's 15 points, combined with his 15 rebounds accounted for his sixth double double in just 11 games.

The Bears immediately fouled Brooks on the inbounds play and he hit 1-of-2 free throws with 3.1 seconds left.

Brown's Damon Huffman hit a layup at the buzzer, but officials waved off the basket, ruling that the ball had not left his hand before the buzzer sounded.

Ed Tyson had a game-high in points to lead the Hawks, who broke a three-game losing streak. Tyson, fresh off a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference nod for Rookie of the Week, tallied a career high 18 points.

Keenan Jeppesen was the only Bear who reached double figures as he scored a season-high 15 points.

The Hawks' scrappy play led to the win as they forced six more turnovers than they committed but were out-rebounded 41-37 and outshot 42 % to 31%. Brown led by as many as nine points in the first half and eight in the second and took a 33-26 halftime lead.

In Women's Basketball action, senior Toni Kennedy scored a career high 28 points to lead the Lady Hawks to a 73-66 victory over St. Francis (NY) Wednesday night. The win ended a four game skid for UMES, who improves to 2-5 on the season.

The Lady Hawks went 4-of-19 to start the game and fell behind by six points at 9:43 in the first half. A lay-up by Kennedy cut the Terrier advantage to 14-10, which capped an 18-8 UMES run over the next seven minutes.

The maroon and gray took their largest lead of the half with 22 seconds remaining, as Almalika Lemon hit a jumper to give UMES the 31-25 advantage going into the break.

Kristi Veltkamp hit a trey at 13:41 to push the Hawk lead to double-digits, and Jamila Griffith put back her own rebound a minute later to give the maroon and gray a 13 point lead, their largest of the night, at 12:25.

St. Francis (1-8) went on a 6-0 run over the next few minutes to close within five points of the lead, but a lay-up by Tiffany Reid put the UMES lead back into double-digits with just over four minutes left in the game.

The Terriers kept the game close as Kara Ayers and Tiffany Hill nailed one 3-pointer each with a minute left in the game, but the Lady Hawks hit nine of their final 12 free-throw attempts to seal the six-point victory.

Kennedy added five steals, three rebounds and two assists to go along with her 28 points, while Griffith finished with 15 points, seven boards and three steals. Reid pulled down a team high 10 rebounds to go along with five points, five assists and three steals off the bench, while Rachael Goodwin dished out a game high seven assists.

Hill scored 18 points to lead St. Francis, while Katja Bavendam and Deanna Petrucci added 13 and 12, respectively.

The Lady Hawks and the Maryland Terrapins were the home teams in the opening night of the Terrapin Classic, but the Hawks didn't get any advantage on the neutral site falling in overtime 86-81 to Furman. The real advantage came at the charity stripe where UMES shot a dreadful 7-16 to Furman's blistering 22 of 30. In fact it was three misses by the Hawk's Kristi Veltkamp in the last minute that would have prevented the extra frame.

UMES was outplayed in most categories, being outrebounded 56-47, out shot 41%-38% and outplayed from the bench 30 to 16. The one category they did win was the turnover battle, forcing 19 Lady Paladin turnovers and committing only 12. The big area was free throws where Furman shot 73%, 22 of 30 to the Hawks dreadful seven of 16, just 43.8%.

The Lady Hawks seem to find ways to lose overtime games this season, dropping their third. In comparison they were undefeated in three tries last year.

In the extra frame Sarah Baker gave the Paladins a quick five point lead but a three by Toni Kennedy and a bucket by Veltkamp knotted it up at 76. Some empty trips down the floor mounted for UMES and they were forced to foul. Tommi Paris, Baker and Chrissy Phelps combined to go eight of eight at the line in OT to seal the win. Rachael Goodwin added a three at the buzzer to make it 86-81 Furman.

UMES was plagued by early foul trouble on their inside players, losing Kristi Veltkamp early after only one shot attempt, which she made.

Veltkamp was called for two offensive fouls and back-up Natalia Benton two on the defensive end. Daynese Stowe got some quality minutes for the Hawks, collecting three points but missing two from the charity stripe that would have given them a 14-13 lead with 13:15 to play.

The game was tied at 15 in the first but Furman broke it open on three back to back three-pointers by Lauren Few, Megan Scott and Melissa Liebschwager. They then led 24-19 with 6:09 to play.

It was 35-23 at the break as Sarah Baker got all net as the horn sounded at the Comcast Center.

To open the second half the Lady Hawks came out intense. They got five points from Veltkamp and ten from Jamila Griffith in the first eight minutes. In fact UMES scored on eight of its first ten possessions. The spark was started by senior guard Toni Kennedy who after being shut out in the first half got four points in the first five minutes. She would finish with 17 while Griffith would have a game high 22 and a new career high. Veltkamp would finish with 12 points and 13 boards for a double double.

Furman led 53-50 after two treys by freshman guard DeVaughn Hailey with ten minutes to play. It was enough as Head Coach Fred Batchelor rested all five starters during that stretch. After Baker answered with a three of her own to make it 56-50 the Hawks got right back in it. Tiffany Reid made a cutting left-handed lay-in from Goodwin and Griffith was found from Reid for another two. Her two was on a designed play at the eight minute mark after a time-out.

With 7:12 to play Kennedy nailed a three-pointer from the right wing to make it 58-57 with the Hawks down one. Just a minute later it was Kennedy again, this time with a jumper to give UMES its first lead since the opening five minutes. The Lady Hawks were ahead 62-60 with five minutes to play on another Kennedy three.

Furman responded with four straight to take a two point lead. With just three minutes to play and the game tied at 64 Kennedy took the ball away from Paris and went the length of the floor only to be intentionally fouled by Paris. She nailed both free throws to give her Hawks a 66-64 advantage.

Leading 70-69 with a little over thirty seconds to play Veltkamp went to work and was fouled in the lane. She made one of two, securing her tenth point and giving her Hawks a two point lead. With just 12 seconds remaining Paris went the length of the floor herself and was fouled by Kennedy. Paris, a 98% free throw shooter made them both. After a timeout Coach Batchelor go the ball to Cheatham with just six seconds but it wasn't to be and the Hawks were headed to overtime.

In the consolation game of the Terrapin Classic, the Lady Hawks allowed the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) to out rebound them 46-33 and out shoot them 47%-37% en route to an 67-61 CCSU win. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) led at the break 29-28, but the lackluster defense and poor shooting did in the Hawks.

UMES had led only twice this season at half time, both resulted in wins, but today it wasn't to be as CCSU played just seven players, dressing only eight, and got a career high 11 points from Jhanay Harris, who was a perfect 3-3 from the filed, all behind the arc.

The Blue Devils tried to give the game to UMES (2-7, 0-1 MEAC), committing a lane violation and two fouls within the final minute allowing UMES to keep it close. They got a three-point play the old fashioned way from freshman guard DeVaughn Hailey to make the score 61-56, a three from Toni Kennedy and a bucket with a missed free throw from Tiffany Ried. That basket with 24.6 seconds left was the all the Hawks would get. It was as close as four points. Gabriella Guegbelet then got a missed free throw when the Hawks were forced to foul and put it back in with two seconds left to seal the game.

UMES got 13 from Kennedy to lead all UMES scorers and 11 from Qiana Cheatham. Jamila Griffith led the Hawks on the boards with six.

It was a slow start for the game with six minutes elapsing and both teams tied at eight. It wouldn't be until the 9:27 mark when Ried would get a bucket to make it 12-10 CCSU (3-7). It was their first score in six minutes. Daynese Stowe would get a basket at the nine minute mark to tie the game at 12. Three minutes elapses with the teams trading baskets until Cheatham game UMES a lead, 22-21. Harris would get it right back with a trey of her own but sophomore Brittany Adkins would be big for the Hawks. Adkins would score and get the foul, sealing the three-point play and making it 26-25 Hawks.

The teams again traded baskets but after Guegbelet tied it with a pair of free throws Hailey would get fouled at mid-court and shoot the one and one with just 14 seconds remaining. She would make the front end and give the Lady Hawks the one point edge at the break.

To open the second half The Blue Devils got three offensive tires before scoring and taking the lead right back. Kristi Veltkamp answered right back for the Hawks. She got back-to-back lay-ups to take the 33-30 lead. It was the inspired play of CCSU's Katherine Kelsey, who was responsible for their first six points to take the lead right back.

After CCSU rattled off six straight points UMES finally answered with a Kennedy three and the game was knotted at 36. Harris got a three-pointer to answer and they up again. That was her career high setting basket.

At almost ten minutes in (10:35) Adkins went to the basket and drew a foul, the first one called of the half. She would convert the three-point play and UMES would trail 43-38.

It was under the eight minute mark when the Hawk's starters began making their return, they sat out almost six minutes. With 5:41 to play UMES was down 51-42, allowing CCSU to have their way around the basket. Veltkamp got the Hawks on the board at 4:40 with a bucket, cutting the lead to 53-44.

The Blue Devils were led by Guegbelet with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Harris had 11 and Kim Boone 10 for the other double digit scorers.

For her play at the Terrapin Classic, Jamila Griffith was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Griffith tallied 28 points in the two games, including 22 on the opening night, a career high. She also grabbed 15 rebounds in the two contests.

The women's basketball tournament featured the host Terps, the Furman Lady Paladins, Central Connecticut State's (CCSU) Blue Devils and the Lady Hawks. Each team placed a member on the squad that contained five players and one Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Those MVP honors were bestowed upon the tournament champion Terps' Shay Doron who had 26 points each night.

On the first week of winter break, UMES swept the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) basketball honors for the week ending on Sunday, December 25. Seniors Tim Parham and Toni Kennedy received MEAC Player of the Week honors while freshmen Ed Tyson and Tiffany Reid earned MEAC Rookie of the Week distinction.

Parham posted his league-leading sixth double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds in UMES' victory over Brown on December 20. The 15 rebounds tied a season-high for Parham. The forward from Chicago, Ill. leads the conference in rebounds, averaging 9.8 per game.

Kennedy set a new career-high with a game-high 28 points in the Lady Hawks' win over St. Francis (NY) on December 21. She went 8-for-17 from the field and 6-for-13 from three-point range. Kennedy also finished the game with five steals, three rebounds and two assists. This is her second straight player of the week selection.

Tyson scored a career-high 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting in the victory over Brown last week, helping UMES to its third win of the season. He also finished with a career-high three steals. This is Tyson's second straight rookie of the week selection.

Reid pulled down a career high 10 rebounds (including seven on the offensive end) to go along with five points, five assists and three steals off the bench in a win over St. Francis (NY) last week. Her five assists and three steals also marked a career high.

In other news, UMES' Director of Athletics, Nelson Townsend, notified the University that he would be accepting the same position at Florida A&M University (FAMU). The Rattlers presented Townsend as the school's new Director of Athletics during a news conference at the Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse on December 20.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, expressed her appreciation for Townsend's efforts and dedication to his alma mater.

"The University of Maryland Eastern Shore appreciates the considerable contribution Nelson Townsend has made to the Fighting Hawks Intercollegiate Athletic Program in the past three years. Under his leadership, UMES student-athletes have continued to excel in the classroom while our respective sports teams are now poised to show dramatic improvement in the coming seasons. As an alumnus of UMES, Mr. Townsend has worked tirelessly on behalf of his alma mater. His successor will be the chief beneficiary of the solid foundation for success laid by Mr. Townsend. Hawk Athletics are very much on the rise," said Thompson.

FAMU President, Castell Bryant, also spoke highly of Townsend. "Mr. Townsend brings the depth and quality of leadership experience which will be critical to moving our athletic program forward in the coming years. His familiarity with our program and our conference, not to mention his extensive work on all levels of sports administration will serve us well, as we seek to elevate FAMU Athletics to higher levels of competitive excellence," Bryant concluded.

Townsend, in his first official statement to the UMES faithful, spoke in a recorded interview Tuesday night during the Hawk's men's basketball game at Brown. In the interview with UMES Director of Broadcasting for Athletics Josh Maurer, Townsend spoke highly of his time at the school and his mixed emotions. "This was a turn of events I was not prepared for," Townsend said. "It had been presented to me some time ago and it was turned down but about a week ago they made me an offer and I had to take some time and finally said yes over the weekend. It has been a thing I am very excited about but have many mixed emotions over," he continued.

Maurer asked Townsend about the timing of the move being mid-year in the academic calendar. "It was really when the opportunity presented itself. The President at FAMU had an interim tag until recently and one of the first charges was to get an Athletic Director in place. It needed to be filled now."

The timing certainly effects UMES as well. "It will be a transition period," Townsend said. "I had a chance to speak with President Thompson and the leadership of our University as this process was evolving. This is not a complete surprise to them. I am aware that it is a tough time for a transition at UMES and Florida A & M."

President Thompson also let the UMES family know that Townsend may be gone, but will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon. "UMES will always maintain a professional working relationship with Nelson Townsend because this is his home. He has been a part of my leadership team since I came to UMES, and I will deeply miss him. The Hawk family appreciates everything he has done, and we wish him the best," she concluded.

Townsend brings over 29 years of experience as a director of athletics and as an administrator in education at both the collegiate and secondary levels to Florida A&M, where he previously served as Director of Athletics from 1986 to 1987.

His overall administrative experience spans athletics, student affairs, educational support services and secondary education.

"I am looking forward to this opportunity to lead a program like Florida A&M Athletics with its' tradition of competitive success and national acclaim," Townsend said on Tuesday.

"Despite the recent issues involving FAMU Athletics, the program itself is still poised to achieve great things. Our charge will be to build a consensus among all aspects of the Florida A&M family and marshal all the resources necessary to move Athletics forward," Townsend added.

In the interview with Maurer, Townsend stated what would be some of his immediate actions. "The compliance issue is certainly pending. We have to clean up from that and face what sanctions the NCAA verdict dictates. After that we have some marketing to do to get over the stigma of the problems and sell our program to the community."

Townsend had been serving as Director of Athletics at UMES since January of 2003. He previously served in that post from 1976 to 1979.

Prior to returning to UMES in 2003 as Director of Athletics, Townsend worked as Director of Collaborative Programs between Salisbury (Md.) University and UMES, from 2000 until January of 2003.

When asked about some of his accomplishments at the helm of the Hawks, Townsend assured the Hawk faithful that goods things were on the horizon. "I feel good about the state of the department. It is still a venture in progress. There are people in place who were there when I got there that are doing an outstanding job and some new faces administratively and as coaches that are really building great programs. The cupboard is not bare; in fact it is very full. The University should be patient; there are great things to come. I leave with mixed emotions, regretting that FAMU will have to face the Hawks on a regular basis."

For 12 years, Townsend served as Director of Athletics at the University of Buffalo (1987-98), spending the two years after that as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (1998-99).

At Buffalo, Townsend worked to move that athletic program from NCAA Division III to Division I in three-and-a-half years.

While at Delaware State University, he engineered the move of the school's athletic program from NCAA Division II to Division I.

Townsend has been a leader in the sports and education administration at the state, national and international levels. He held significant leadership roles in intercollegiate athletics, international sports and even at the level of Olympic administration.

While at the University of Buffalo, Townsend served as chairman of the NCAA Olympic Liaison Committee. In that role, he was named as an active member of the United States Olympic Committee.

From 1991-93, Townsend traveled extensively to such places as Germany, Canada, Bulgaria, France, England, and Spain in preparation to host the World University Games in Buffalo in 1993.

The Games, using the University as the major site, marked the only time that this event has been hosted in the United States. The World University Games are considered the largest international sports event other than the Summer Olympics. For his effort and leadership in those games, Townsend was the recipient of "The Buffalo Achievement Award" in 1993.

Townsend is a native of Horntown, Virginia, where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah B. Townsend still reside. He and his wife Diane have five adult children, Tracy Lynn, Marc, Eugene and Eboni.

Upcoming Week (Jan. 2 - Jan. 8)

Basketball begins conference play this week when they host North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, January 4. Game time at the Hytche Center is slated for 5:30pm for the women, while the men kick off their match up at 7:30pm.

UMES continues conference play this weekend, next traveling to Hampton on Saturday, January 7. The Lady Hawks take on the Lady Pirates at 4 p.m. while the Fighting Hawks battle HU in a 6 p.m. decision.

Indoor track will also be in action this weekend when they host the Coach O Invite on January 7.

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