Hawks Look to Stay Hot against Bethune-Cookman
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
After a statement win on Saturday, Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball (5-12, 1-1) will try and keep the ball rolling against upstart Bethune-Cookman (7-9, 2-0) on Monday night. Tip from the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Ahmad Frost scored a career-high 33 points, including 23 in the first half, helping to lead Eastern Shore to an emphatic 92-83 win over Hampton on Saturday afternoon. Tyler Jones tied a career high of his own with 28 points, while Miryne Thomas added 16; both finished just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds each.
This will be the 73rd meeting between the Hawks and Wildcats. Bethune-Cookman leads the all-time series 47-25, but The Shore has won four in a row over the last three seasons.
The Hawks won two nail-biters against BCU last year by a total of four points. On Jan. 21 in Daytona Beach, Logan McIntosh's layup with a minute to go capped a 14-point second half comeback, propelling Eastern Shore to an 82-79 win. McIntosh finished with 15 points and seven assists, while Bakari Copeland scored a team-high 24 points with 10 rebounds.
The Feb. 13 matchup in Princess Anne saw more of the same. The Hawks overcame a 12-point second half deficit to force overtime, and Copeland's free throws with 20 seconds to go led The Shore past the `Cats 82-81. Copeland and Ryan Andino each finished with 22 points, while McIntosh brought 12 points and eight assists to the floor.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks have stepped up their game since the calendar turned to 2018. Through two conference games, Eastern Shore is averaging 87 points per game and is shooting 50 percent (63-for-126) from the floor after averaging 56.9 points and shooting 35.4 percent through its first 15 outings.
Frost dominated from start to finish in his 33-point outburst on Saturday. He made his first seven shots to start the game, including five three-pointers, and finished the first half with a four-point play to give him 23. The sophomore blew away his previous career high of 19 points, set earlier this year at Iowa State. Frost has scored in double figures in five straight games, averaging 17.4 points over that span.
Miryne Thomas is starting to flex his muscle in the paint. The 6-8 freshman has hauled in at least nine rebounds in five of his last six games, boosting his season average from 6.1 to 6.8 per game over that span. Thomas's 6.8 boards per game are second most among MEAC freshman and put him seventh on the overall conference leaderboard.
Eastern Shore hits the road next weekend for matchups at Savannah State on Saturday and South Carolina State on Monday. After that, the Hawks will host North Carolina A&T on Jan. 20, kicking off a stretch of four-out-of-five at home; the only road game in that stretch is at nearby Coppin State.
71:54 - Total time The Shore has spent in the lead over its last two games
.594 - Field goal percentage for the Hawks in the first half against Hampton
9 - Logan McIntosh assists on Saturday, his highest total this season
Bethune-Cookman finished 6-10 in the MEAC last season and 10-22 overall. Under first-year head coach Ryan Ridder, the Wildcats won five nonconference games and are 2-0 to start the conference slate. BCU beat South Carolina State 86-80 at home on Wednesday before downing Howard 92-87 in overtime on the road on Saturday.
Bethune-Cookman boasts 11 upperclassmen on roster, including seven transfers. Most of the Wildcats have played college ball in at least one other place, and nine are junior college transfers. That infusion of experience helped BCU to seven wins this season; it took the team until February 20 last year to win its seventh game.
Senior guard Brandon Tabb returns to Daytona Beach with a vengeance in his final collegiate season. The preseason first-team All-MEAC selection ranks sixth in the MEAC in points (17.2) and fourth in the nation with an eye-popping .953 free-throw percentage. Tabb has cracked 20 points five times, including twin 26-point efforts against Grambling State and Boston University. The Hawks limited the Hampton, Virginia native to 11 and 12 points in the two matchups last year.
First-year Wildcat boss Ryan Ridder boasts one of the best basketball pedigrees in Florida. He is the son of Steve Ridder, who has won more than 600 games over 29 seasons for NAIA/Division II powerhouse Embry-Riddle. The younger Ridder, who played for his father for two seasons and graduated from ERAU in 2008, won 95 games over four seasons leading JUCO outfit Daytona State College before accepting his first Division I head job last March 31.
Monday'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-BCU women's basketball game, which tips at 5:30. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 7:15 p.m. with Will DeBoer and Dave Byrd on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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