Hawks pile points on South Carolina State, 92-69
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore got an all-around standout performance from Senior Bakari Copeland (Decatur, Georgia) and what head coach Bobby Collins called “a total game” from his squad on Saturday in a 92-69 win against visiting South Carolina State.
Copeland put up a game-high 22 points and matched a career-high with 13 rebounds and chipped in five assists and a steal. He was 13-of-14 from the free throw line, 4-of-7 from the field and hit his only 3-point attempt on the night.
“I don’t know how many rebounds he had, but I thought he had a phenomenal night on the boards,” Collins said. “He played like a man.”
The Hawks (7-14, 4-2 MEAC) outrebounded the Bulldogs 45-26. It was just the fifth time this season they have outrebounded an opponent, but the second straight game they have done so. The team shot 55 percent from the field including 68 percent in the second half.
Dontae Caldwell (Santa Ana, California) added 16 points and seven rebounds, while shooting better than 58 percent from the field.
“He quietly had, what was a very good night for him,” Collins said. “And he did it in 24 minutes.”
Graduate student Derrico Peck (Atlanta, Georgia) reached double digits in scoring for the second straight game with 13 points and had five blocks, five rebounds and a pair of steals.
“He’s a senior and I told him he had nine precious games left — what was he going to do with them?” Collins said. “He’s being a lot more assertive. We need him to be assertive and if he keeps playing like that we’ll be a tough team to defend, especially with the way Isaac Taylor is playing lately. He’s opening up a lot of things for everybody.”
Taylor (Wachapreague, Virginia) was a force on the inside before getting into foul trouble (6 points, 4 rebounds, 9 minutes), but has increased his presence on the court since conference play began.
Junior Ryan Andino (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) scored 11 points, senior Thomas Rivera (Harlem, New York) added nine and three assists, while Logan McIntosh (Atlanta, Georgia) had eight points and five assists.
“You have got to pick your poison,” Collins said. “Who are you going to guard on this team? When we play unselfish, we are a very good team.”
The Shore led just 44-41 at the half, but came out possessed in the second half cutting back on the turnovers, hitting the glass, raising the shooting percentage — and most importantly the defensive pressure.
“My assistant laid into them pretty hard about the fact that we gave up 41 points,” Collins said of halftime. “We wanted to be a better defensive team. Being at home, we have to be better defensively. In the second half, we really did a very good job of switching up our defense and we were able to get to their shooters.”
Bulldogs (6-14, 3-4 MEAC) were held to just 37 percent from the field in the second half and 28 points. They made just 9-of-19 from the free throw line, while the Hawks converted 21-of-24.
It was the first time The Shore has picked up three wins in a row since defeating Bethune-Cookman, Howard, Coppin State and Hampton in one stretch Jan. 23-Feb. 8, 2016. A fourth-straight win would match the team’s longest win streak of the 2015-16 season.
The Hawks will next host Savannah State on Monday (Jan. 30) at 7:30 p.m. and travel to Hampton on Wednesday (Jan. 1) at 7:30 p.m.
Games can be heard locally on Fox Sports Radio 960 AM WTGM or on www.EasternShoreHawks.com. Will DeBoer and David Byrd will have the call Monday from the William P. Hytche Center 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 a 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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