Hawks Look to Rebound at S.C. State
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
After bottoming out in the second half on Saturday, Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (5-14, 1-3) will look to rebound at South Carolina State (6-12, 2-1) on Monday night. Tip from Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore jumped out to a 12-2 lead early but allowed Savannah State to battle back for a 35-34 halftime lead. The Tigers then blitzed the Hawks 14-4 to start the second half, running away with an 87-59 win. Tyler Jones led the Hawks with 20 points, hitting the 20-point mark for the second time in three games. Miryne Thomas’ 16 rebounds were the most for any Hawk in over three years.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“South Carolina State is a very scrappy team. They shoot the ball well and can score a lot of points in a hurry; maybe not as quick as Savannah State, but pretty quick. Coach [Murray] Garvin does a tremendous job with them. He was one of my assistants and we know each other very well. We have our work cut out for us.”
This will be the 74th matchup between the Hawks and Bulldogs. South Carolina State owns a commanding 54-19 lead.
The teams faced each other once last season at the Hytche Center. The Hawks halted a three-game skid against the bulldogs with a 92-69 win. The Shore shot 68 percent (17-of-25) in the second half, bludgeoning SCSU 48-28 over the final 20 minutes. Bakari Copeland led all scorers with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Dontae Caldwell added 16 and seven.
Hawk Quick Shots
After shooting 49.2 percent through their first three MEAC games, the Hawks fell back to earth at Savannah State, connecting on only 31 percent of shots (9-of-29) in the second half and hitting at just a 38.3 percent clip (23-of-60) for the game. The Shore has failed to crack 60 points 10 time this season.
Tyler Jones is averaging 18.5 points per game in conference play, good for sixth in the league. The sophomore forward has established himself as an inside presence against MEAC frontcourts. Of his 48 shot attempts in league play, 36 have been two-point attempts. He is shooting 56.3 percent in conference play and 61.1 percent from inside the arc.
Miryne Thomas hauled in 16 rebounds on Saturday, the most for any Hawk since Mike Myers collected 16 against NJIT on Jan. 7, 2015. The freshman ranks second with 10.0 rebounds in MEAC competition, including back-to-back nine-board efforts against Morgan State and Hampton.
The Hawks return home next weekend to host North Carolina A&T on Saturday and North Carolina Central on Monday. They will play four of their next five games at home with their only road trip coming on Jan. 29 to in-state rival Coppin State.
18.5 – Points per game for Tyler Jones through four MEAC games (sixth in league)
.357 – Three-point percentage for the Hawks in their last five games (.264 in their first 14)
10.0 – Rebounds per game for Miryne Thomas in MEAC play (7.2 RPG overall)
About South Carolina State
Last year South Carolina State fell five games back of their 12-4 conference mark from two seasons ago. The Bulldogs were picked to finish seventh in the MEAC this season and were the lowest-ranked team to receive a first-place vote. After a nonconference schedule that included stops at Wisconsin, UCLA, and North Carolina State, SCSU opened league play in 2018 with a six-point loss at Bethune-Cookman but responded with three-point wins at Delaware State last Monday and Howard on Saturday, outlasting the Bison 91-88 in overtime.
Graduate guard and former walk-on Donte Wright is one of the deadliest distance shooters in the MEAC. The Jackson, South Carolina native is ninth in the league in scoring (15.0) and third in three-point field goal percentage (.396), knocking down a conference-best 3.5 treys per game. Wright went for 23 points in back-to-back games against UCLA and Central Arkansas in November and sank a season-high 31 in the Bulldogs’ win over Brevard on Dec. 7.
Murray Garvin cut his teeth as Bobby Collins’ associate head coach at Winston-Salem State from 2008-10, parlaying that into the associate job at SCSU before taking over the program in the middle of 2012-13. The team’s 19-15 (12-4) finish in 2015-16 earned Garvin MEAC and NABC District 15 Coach of the Year honors, as well as a finalist nod for the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year.
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 2. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 7:15 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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