Hawks outgun North Carolina A&T in 99-88 victory
GREENSBORO, North Carolina -
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore took perfect advantage of career games by its two top scorers on a night when it also shot a season-high 58 percent from the field in a 99-88 win against North Carolina A&T State (1-15, 0-2 MEAC).
The Hawks (4-12, 1-0 MEAC) dished out a season-high 24 assists and won their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for the first time since 2010.
“I thought it was a great team effort,” head coach Bobby Collins said. “We had 24 assists and I think that is special. Any time you get a team with 24 assists it really tell you that you played together.”
Junior Ryan Andino (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor including 9-of-13 from behind the arc. His nine 3-point baskets were also a career high.
“I thought that we looked for him,” Collins said. “We just played together and the way that they defended us in a zone, obviously, it is going to give Andino a lot of looks, and he got a lot of looks because they stayed in that zone for a long time.”
Senior Bakari Copeland (Decatur, Georgia) added 26 points — one off his career high at UTEP — to go with six rebounds.
Junior Logan McIntosh (Atlanta, Georgia) posted a career high 11 assists and just missed a double-double with nine points to go with six rebounds. Sophomore Dontae Caldwell (Santa Ana, California) had 12 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Shore jumped out to a 24-point lead (49-25) with 4:38 left in the first half, putting the Aggies in a hole that proved impossible to dig out of.
“We knew that we could make it a grind-out game,” Collins said. “We had to hit them in the mouth and knock them out early and we did that. It was just what we needed to do. A&T is a dangerous team with a lot of loaded guns, but we were able to get a big enough lead that it didn’t bother us.”
The Hawks hadn’t played a game since Jan. 2 at home against Valley Forge and they took full advantage of the opportunity this time around.
“Any time you can come on the road and score 90 plus points is very good,” Collins said. “We were ready to play because we hadn’t played in a while. Once that ball went up we did what we were supposed to do and they did what I asked them to do as far as knocking them out early.”
The Hawks were getting quick open shots against the Aggies’ zone and while that resulted in a season-high 99 points for them, they also gave up 88 points because A&T had a lot of possessions as well. The Aggies actually outscored Eastern Shore 49-45 in the second half.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but like I told my coaches, at this point we are going to win and survive and let’s get better tomorrow at defending it,” Collins said.
The Hawks shot 16-of-27 (59 percent) from behind the arc also a season-high and 27 percentage points above their season average (35 percent). Their 58 percent from the field was 18 percentage points higher than their season average of 40 percent.
The Shore will next travel back to face North Carolina Central on Wednesday (Jan. 11) at 6 p.m. — a game that was rescheduled from the weekend.
Games can be heard locally on Fox Sports Radio 960 AM WTGM or on www.EasternShoreHawks.com. Will DeBoer and will have the call Wednesday from Durham on The Shore Sports Network.
Season tickets for the 2016-2017 season are on sale now starting at just $125, for all men’s and women’s home games. Did you know that purchasing a season ticket helps all sports at Maryland Eastern Shore, not just basketball? To purchase season tickets, click here. For more information about the 1ticKet Drive, log on to the web at easternshorehawks.com or call 410-651-6499. It’s time to show your #HawkPride!
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