Hakeem Baxter (pictured) and UMES posted their third win in the MEAC this year on Saturday

March 1, 2014

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BALTIMORE, Md. - Senior Troy Snyder (Chicago, Ill.) made a pair of free-throws with 0.3 seconds left to give the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball team a one-point victory, 68-67, at Coppin State on Saturday afternoon to end the nation's longest road losing streak. UMES posted its highest rebounding total of the season (49) and held an 18-2 advantage in second-chance points.

With the decision, UMES moves to 5-22, 3-11 MEAC, while Coppin State falls to 9-19, 6-9 MEAC.

Up by one with 30 seconds left, UMES was forced to play on the defensive as Coppin State had the ball with the shot clock off. CSU ran down the clock to the final seconds and it appeared temporarily that the Eagles would not get a shot off.  CSU benefitted from a Hawk foul and Michael Murray went to the foul line with three seconds remaining. Murray proceeded to bury both to switch the advantage.

Junior Ishaq Pitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) then inbounded the ball to Snyder, who caught the ball at halfcourt and raced for a layup. On the way to the rim, Snyder was fouled by Coppin State's Arnold Fripp. Snyder then nailed both shots to give UMES its first victory on the road since 2012.

UMES scored the first five points of the game, but Coppin State went on a 12-2 run over a two-minute span. The two teams remained within a single possession for the next several minutes. UMES took its second five-point lead of the half after a jumper by junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.) made the score 24-19 at the 9:21 mark.

The Hawks moved their advantage to six points minutes later on the third three-pointer of the game by freshman Devon Walker (Philadelphia, Pa.), but CSU scored seven unanswered points to take a 28-27 lead with six to go. The Eagles closed the half on a 7-3 run to take a five-point lead, 39-34, at intermission.

The Hawks brought down 30 rebounds in the first 20 minutes, a number that eclipsed seven full game totals for UMES this season. The Hawks had nearly more offensive rebounds (14) than CSU did altogether (17).

UMES went on a 12-2 run over the first four minutes of the second-half. The advantage would stand strong for the majority of the half, but Coppin State had other things in mind. The Eagles slowly nibbled away at the deficit; before they took a 65-64 lead with 3:19 to play. Freshman Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) made two free-throws with 1:33 on the clock to reverse the margin and give UMES the lead a short time later.

An offensive foul by the Hawks with 30 seconds left gave Coppin State the ball with the shot clock off. It would then set up the thrilling end as UMES defeated CSU for just the fifth time in the past 12 meetings. The victory is the first for UMES on the road in its past 34 games, a streak that dated back to Feb. 11, 2012.

Snyder posted his fourth double-double in the past six meetings with 22 points and 10 boards. His points in the game made it six consecutive contests with atleast 20 points. Baxter scored 15 points and brought down seven rebounds in 31 minutes, while Jones had eight points and eight boards. Senior Pina Guillaume (N'Djamena, Chad) had a crucial block for UMES late in the game and came off the bench to log nine rebounds.

UMES shot 48-percent from the floor in the second-half and posted its highest rebound total since UMES had 57 at Florida A&M 13 months ago.

Coppin State was paced by Murray, who had 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Taariq Cephas had 10 points and dished out six assists, while two others had nine points. The Eagles were unable to stop the Hawks in the paint as UMES held a 32-22 advantage in the paint and an 18-2 push in second-chance opportunities.

The Hawks will not have much time to celebrate as they are set to travel to Norfolk State on Monday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. The game is the final regular season road contest for UMES this year.

 For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com



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