Jan. 21, 2009

Box Score

DURHAM, N.C. - Neal Pitt (Fort Washington, Md.) scored a game-high 24 points helping the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball team snap a 28-game road losing streak with a 73-58 win over North Carolina Central at McLendon-McDougald Gym Wednesday.

For UMES (4-11), the win was its first away from home since March 3, 2007 when the Hawks topped Howard, 63-60, and it ended the nation's third longest road losing streak.

UMES used a balanced attack to defeat NCCU (2-13), handing the Eagles their second consecutive loss. Three other Hawks found themselves in double figures for the game with Josh Bright (Salisbury, Md.) and Jaime Boyer (Philadelphia, Pa.) scoring 14 apiece and Gary Lee (Flint, Mich.) adding 10.

"Taking in the total package tonight, I thought this was a game where we did do the little things that we have to do to win, especially on the road," UMES head coach Frankie Allen said.

After a slow start for both teams, the Hawks scored 11 straight points to open a 31-10 advantage late in the half. Pitt punctuated the stretch with a layup with 2:15 to go before halftime.

NCCU was able to close the gap at the break, tallying eight unanswered to trail by 13, 31-18.

UMES forced 11 Eagles' turnovers in the first 20 minutes turning them into 11 points and limited the hosts to just 7-for-17 shooting.

NCCU's Vincent Davis quickly cut the UMES lead to 11 on the first possession of the second half, but the Hawks extended the margin to 18 over the next four minutes, 43-25.

With 11 minutes remaining, the Eagles had halved the lead, only trailing by nine, 49-40.

The Hawks didn't let NCCU closer than seven points the rest of the way, buckling down defensively to ensure the win.



"We had a bad spurt right at the end of the first half where we got a little complacent," Allen said. "I thought we got a little careless with the lead that we had early in the second half. But I'd like to give North Carolina Central credit; they laid something out on the line. They came up and really pushed us."

UMES finished 29-of-62 from the field (46.8 percent), while NCCU was 20-for-55 for a 26.4 percentage.

Boyer was the Hawks' leading rebounder with seven and Marc Davis (Baltimore, Md.) led them with five assists.

Brian Ayala led the Eagles with 19 points and seven rebounds. Vincent Davis chipped in with 17 points and six boards.

UMES returns home Saturday to face Florida A&M Saturday at 4 p.m.

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