Hawks Begin Southern Swing at Savannah State
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Looking to get back on track after two disappointing losses in three games, Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (5-13, 1-2) begin a weekend road trip at Savannah State (4-13, 1-1) on Saturday afternoon. Tip from Tiger Arena is set for approximately 4 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore led by nine with 5:34 to play, but Bethune-Cookman swung the game in their favor over the next three minutes, punctuated by Brandon Tabb’s four-point play with 2:36 to go, sending the Wildcats to an 89-84 win on Monday at the Hytche Center. Ahmad Frost followed up a 33-point game last Saturday with 21 points, shooting 7-of-14 over 40 minutes of action. Logan McIntosh scored 17 points and dished out eight assists.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“Savannah State plays very relaxed, very loose. They go out and shoot unconsciously. Every coach wants to will his style of play on the other team. We have to be disciplined enough to will the way we want to play on them.”
This will be the 10th matchup between the Hawks and Tigers. Savannah State holds a 7-2 series lead and has won two in a row.
The teams last squared off on Jan. 30, 2017 at the Hytche Center. Eastern Shore led 75-70 with 5:24 to play, but a technical foul on the Hawks’ Thomas Rivera swung momentum back to Savannah State, and the Tigers were able to steal it 87-82. Dontae Caldwell (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Derrico Peck (12 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Hawks, while Troyce Manassa led the Tigers with 20 points, including 11 after Rivera’s technical.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks have stepped up their game since the calendar turned to 2018. Through three conference games, Eastern Shore is averaging 86 points per game (third in the MEAC) and is shooting 49.7 percent (second in the MEAC) from the floor after averaging 56.9 points and shooting 35.4 percent through its first 15 outings.
Frost’s 33- and 21-point games on Saturday and Monday are the two highest point totals of his career. After shaking off the rust from over a year’s layoff, the redshirt sophomore has scored in double figures in six straight games and is averaging 17.8 points in his last. Frost is one of six MEAC players averaging at least 20 points in league play, posting 23 points per game in his first three league contests.
After serving as primary scorer for the first half against Bethune-Cookman, Logan McIntosh got to transition back into a distributor’s roll over the final 20 minutes, dishing out six of his eight assists after halftime. The senior guard is averaging 6.7 assists over his first three MEAC games. McIntosh averaged 4.5 assists per game in league play last season.
Eastern Shore continues its road trip on Monday at South Carolina State. After that, the Hawks will play host to North Carolina A&T next Saturday, beginning a stretch of four-out-of-five at home; the only road game they will have over the next three weeks is at nearby Coppin State.
86 – Points per game for The Shore through three MEAC games (third in the league)
17.8 – Points per game for Ahmad Frost in his last five contests
6.7 – Assists per game for Logan McIntosh in MEAC Play (tied for fourth in the league)
About Savannah State
Savannah State played the second-toughest schedule in the nation through the first two months of the year, taking their lumps against national powers like Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Wichita State, Texas A&M, Baylor, Virginia, and Michigan State. The Tigers opened MEAC play with an 80-71 win at Coppin State last Saturday. Much like Eastern Shore, SSU fell victim to last-minute heroics from Morgan State’s Tiwian Kendley on Monday, falling 89-88 in Baltimore on Kendley’s layup with 10 seconds to play.
Savannah State boasts the most uptempo basketball in the MEAC on both ends of the court. The Tigers average nearly 71 shots per game, including a staggering 40 from three-point range. Bethune-Cookman comes in at second in the league at just 65.4 attempts per contest. SSU opponents, meanwhile, shoot 50.3 percent from the floor on 69 shots per contest. Savannah State’s 9.8 steals per game are also by far most in the MEAC.
Junior guard Dexter McClanahan earned third-team All-MEAC honors last season and hasn’t missed a beat in 2017-18. The Stockbridge, Georgia native leads the team with 13.8 points per game (12th in the MEAC) and ranks top-10 in the league in steals (1.4) and three-pointers (2.2) per game. McClanahan has scored in double figures in all but three games this year, including a 22-point output at Baylor on Dec. 17.
The Tigers are reclassifying from NCAA Division I to Division II and is set to leave the MEAC at the end of the 2018-19 season, meaning this will likely be the Hawks’ last visit to Savannah. SSU is eligible for the postseason MEAC Tournament this season after missing out last year.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast locally on flagship radio station Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Eastern Shore-BCU women’s basketball game, which tips at 2. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 3:45 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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