Hawks Aim to Ground Eagles, Stop Skid
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (5-16, 1-5 MEAC) will aim to stop a four-game skid on Monday night against reigning MEAC regular season and tournament champions North Carolina Central (10-9, 4-1 MEAC). Tip from the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
In a game that featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes, North Carolina A&T got a late three from Femi Olujobi and made a crucial stop in the final 10 seconds, holding onto a 66-64 lead over Eastern Shore on Saturday at the Hytche Center. Tyler Jones led the way for the Hawks with a game-high 18 points, while Logan McIntosh just missed a double-double with nine points and a career high-tying 11 assists.
This will be the 33rd matchup between the Hawks and the Eagles. N.C. Central has won 11 straight showdowns, including all three last season, and holds a 19-13 series lead.
Last January NCCU won 69-52 in Durham and spoiled February homecoming in Princess Anne with an 82-69 win. The teams met again in the MEAC Tournament semifinals on Mar. 10 at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Hawks were down just 21-19 with 7:11 in the first, but the Eagles closed the half on a 17-2 run and cruised to a 79-49 win. Bakari Copeland scored 15 points in his final game for Eastern Shore, while Tyler Jones had eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks are just 1-5 in the MEAC but could easily be 5-1. Eastern Shore has suffered four single-digit losses in conference play, holding leads inside the final five minutes each time. The Hawks’ defeats against Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, and North Carolina A&T came by a combined 14 points (3.5 points per game).
Tyler Jones has held his own against some the top post players in the MEAC. The sophomore forward is posting 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds through his first six conference games and is shooting 60.4 percent (32-of-53) from two-point range.
Eastern Shore is in the middle of a three-week home-heavy stretch. Next Saturday the Hawks welcome Howard to Princess Anne then take a quick overnight jaunt to Baltimore to play Coppin State next Monday. After an off day on Feb. 3, The Shore hosts Florida A&M on Feb. 5 and then hits the road again to visit Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 10.
6.4 – Assists per game for Logan McIntosh in conference play (fourth in MEAC)
13.1 – Turnovers per game for the Hawks, fewest in the MEAC
4 – Single-digit losses in the Hawks’ first six MEAC games (1-5)
About North Carolina Central
The reigning double MEAC champs were picked to finish third in the conference in 2017-18 and garnered six first-place votes, second most behind league favorites Morgan State. The Eagles went 6-8 in nonconference action, picking up wins over Southern, Southeast Missouri State, and McNeese State. N.C. Central won four straight to open league play before falling 84-78 in overtime at Howard on Saturday.
N.C. Central finished 25-9 last season and cruised to the MEAC sweep. The Eagles won 13 straight conference games and annihilated Norfolk State in the tournament championship before losing to UC Davis in the First Four. NCCU also won the Double in 2013-14 and have won three regular season titles and two MEAC tourneys since rejoining the conference in 2010.
Junior center Raasean Davis has brought muscle to the paint in his first MEAC season. The Chicagoan and Kent State transfer is eighth in the league in scoring (15.3 PPG) and fourth in rebounding (7.6 RPG). Davis has worked out five double-doubles this season, including an 18-point, 11-board effort in a win over Morgan State on Jan. 15.
Reigning BoxToRow.com HBCU National Coach of the Year LeVelle Moton has cornered the upperclass transfer market. Thirteen of his 15 Eagles this season are juniors and seniors, 11 of whom transferred from another JUCO or four-year institution. Moton has transformed this annual collection of outcasts into the MEAC’s perennial buzzsaw, taking the Eagles to two NCAA Tournaments and one NIT in the last four seasons.
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-NCCU 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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