Feb. 26, 2011

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - It was a homecoming to remember for the Hawk faithful of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) as the home team topped Howard University 73-63 in front of a capacity crowd of 5,500 fans who returned to campus to see a dominating second half effort by the Hawks.

Hillary Haley (Oxon Hill, Md.) led all scorers with 26 points, 15 in the second half, to claim the Jesse T. Williams Homecoming Hawk Award, a game MVP awarded each homecoming. Despite his offensive effort, the story was the UMES defense in the second half as they held the Bison under 32 percent from the floor and limited their leading scorer, Anton Dickerson, to just one point after he exploded for 24 in the first half.

"We did a much better job on [Dickerson] in the second half," said head coach Frankie Allen. "We had to; he was the reason they started so well."

Howard jumped out to a 12 point lead in the first five minutes of the contest, getting nine points on three treys from Dickerson. His hot shooting propelled the Bison to just under 50 percent from the floor for the frame. The Hawks seemed to have no answer, getting only a dunk and a free throw from Tyler Hines (Sicklerville, N.J.) in that stretch.

UMES cut it to one seven minutes later on a three-pointer from Haley, but Howard would stretch the lead back to nine just four minutes later on another Dickerson trey. Another three from Dadrian Collins with just under a minute to go, gave the Bison a 40-30 lead. UMES would get a pair of Haley free throws to make it an eight point gap at the half, 40-32.

The second half however belonged to the home team. After Howard got a lay-in from Mike Phillips, two of his 14 points on the night, UMES rattled off a 17-7 run. That stretch included six of Freddy Obame Obame's (Libreville, Gabon) eight points and culminated with a lay-in by Kevin White (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to tie the game at 49. Fifteen seconds later Mark Robertson (Lakewood, N.J.) dropped in a three from the left wing and the Hawks would take a 52-49 lead and never look back.

Howard would cut it to one two more times, the last at the 7:42 mark on a Phillips dunk but he would be assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim and Haley made one of two free throws to push the lead back to a pair. Solid inside play from there kept UMES in front, getting a tip-in from Obame Obame and a thundering tip-dunk from Haley to keep command.

Howard was held to just one long-range make in the second frame on eight attempts after going six for 14 mark in the opening half. Once UMES shut down Dickerson, Howard had no one else step up, as they got just three bench points for the game, all coming in the second half. The Hawks forced 12 turnovers, committing only five in the half and recorded five total blocked shots on the night, three from Diyaaldin Kelley (Philadelphia, Pa.) and a pair from Robertson.

Robertson also nabbed seven rebounds and a pair of steals to go with his six points for an all-around solid game. Hines would also finish with seven boards, six points and two steals. White was the Hawks' second leading scorer with nine.

Phillips paced Howard with a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, Dickerson's 25 was the only other tally in double figures.

Howard remains winless on the road this season (0-12) and fall to 6-22 (4-11 MEAC). UMES improves to 7-21 (4-11 MEAC) and climbs over the Bison in the conference standings. The win makes the third for UMES against Howard in the last four tries and gives the Hawks their second straight homecoming victory, a first since the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. For the game, the team wore throw-back Maryland State jerseys as homage to the school's former name.

The Hawks take a few days off before their final game of the season, a senior night tilt with Rt. 13 rival Delaware State on Thursday March 3, 2011. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.



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