Hawks Open MEAC Play at Rival Morgan State
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (4-11, 0-0) begins its quest for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship in Baltimore against preseason league favorites Morgan State (4-9, 0-0) on Wednesday night. Tip from the Talmadge L. Hill Field House is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore led by as many as 18 in the first half and survived a late Central Penn run to hold on and beat the Knights 74-69 on Sunday at the Hytche Athletic Center. Cameron Bacote scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, while Sean Hoggs came off the bench for 15 points and a stout defense. The win keeps the Hawks undefeated at home so far this season.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“We’re going to a very hostile environment. We’ve got to be focused. They have the player of the year on their team and a very prolific shooter. We’ve got to be prepared and play with a lot of intensity.”
This will be the 125th meeting between the two in-state rivals. Eastern Shore holds a 67-57 advantage and has won five of the last six matchups.
The Hawks and Bears played an all-time classic in Princess Anne on Mar. 2, 2017, the only matchup between the teams last season. In a game that featured 14 ties and eight lead changes, Dontae Caldwell hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 30 seconds left as Eastern Shore stunned MSU 67-66. Bakari Copeland led The Shore with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Caldwell finished with 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench. The win assured the Hawks of a winning conference record.
Hawk Quick Shots
Eastern Shore was picked to finish sixth in October’s MEAC preseason poll, sandwiched between Savannah State and South Carolina State. All three teams finished in those exact positions in last year’s final MEAC standings.
The Hawks have averaged nine conference wins in their previous three seasons under Bobby Collins, up from 3.3 league wins over their previous three campaigns. The Shore is going after its first MEAC regular season championship since winning back-to-back league crowns in 1973 and 1974.
Cameron Bacote is averaging 11.4 points over his last five games, up from 4.1 points over his previous eight. His 22 points and seven field goals made on Sunday against Central Penn were his most since Nov. 12 at Maryland when he poured in 18 on eight baskets.
Eastern Shore returns home for the first full weekend of conference play. Hampton makes its final visit to Princess Anne as a MEAC member on Saturday at 4 p.m., while Bethune-Cookman comes to town on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks will play eight of their first 10 MEAC games in the state of Maryland, including six at the Hytche Center.
4 – Nonconference wins for the Hawks, one more than last season’s total
34.9 – Minutes per game for Logan McIntosh, good for second in the MEAC
.424 – Field goal percentage for The Shore on Sunday, its highest mark since the season opener on Nov. 10 against Valley Forge
About Morgan State
The Bears finished third in the MEAC last season, going 11-5 in league play (14-16 overall) before losing to 11th-seeded Howard in the first round of the conference tournament.
Morgan State graduated just one senior and returns 10 from last year’s third place squad. The Bears were handily picked to win the MEAC in the league’s preseason poll, garnering 13 of 26 first place votes. MSU boasts the Preseason MEAC Player of the Year (Phillip Carr), and fellow preseason first-teamer Tiwain Kendley is back from injury and averaging 30.3 points through his first three games.
Carr averaged 16.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season, earning First-Team and MEAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Brooklyn-born senior forward gave the Bears 13.5 points and a league-high 8.9 rebounds in the nonconference slate. Carr has seven double-doubles this season, including three in a row, giving him 18 for his MSU career. The Hawks limited him to 10 points and nine rebounds in last year’s matchup.
Todd Bozeman arrived in Baltimore in 2006 and last season became the all-time winningest head coach in Bears history. Under Bozeman’s guidance, Morgan State won MEAC tournament championships and earned NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2010. The Bears also went to the 2008 NIT after winning their first of three straight MEAC regular season titles. Bozeman began his coaching career at California in the 1990s and has won over 200 games as an NCAA head coach.
Wednesday’s game will be broadcast locally on flagship radio station Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Eastern Shore-MSU women’s basketball game, which tips at 5:30. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 7:15 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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