Hawks Ready to Tame Bison Duo
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (5-17, 1-6 MEAC) gets ready to face presumptive MEAC Freshman of the Year R.J. Cole, reigning Freshman of the Year Charles Williams, and the Howard Bison (5-17, 2-4 MEAC) on Saturday afternoon. Tip from the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center is set for approximately 4 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore and North Carolina Central traded seven ties and six lead changes. Ahmad Frost’s step-back three clanged off the iron with seven seconds to go, and the Hawks bowed in another close affair to the Eagles 63-60. Logan McIntosh scored a career-high 26 points, including 18 in the second half. Miryne Thomas posted his third double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“Howard has a very talented backcourt, and they’re playing good basketball right now. They’re playing good basketball, we’re playing good basketball, we just have to learn how to win.
This will be the 102nd matchup between the Hawks and the Bison. Howard leads the all-time series 59-42 and has won three straight. HU swept both games last season, defeating the Hawks 74-66 in Princess Anne and 79-69 in Washington, D.C.
Last February 27 at Burr Gymnasium, the Hawks played most of the second half within one possession, but the Bison got it clicking in the final four minutes and pulled away for a 79-69 win. Logan McIntosh scored 14 points with eight boars and four assists.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks are just 1-6 in the MEAC but could easily be 6-1. Eastern Shore has suffered five single-digit losses in conference play, already one more than last season’s total, holding leads inside the final five minutes each time. The Hawks’ defeats against Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T, and North Carolina Central came by a combined 17 points (3.4 points per game).
Logan McIntosh has been a workhorse for The Shore all season. The senior leads the team with 11.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 35.2 minutes per game, ranking top-five in the MEAC in the latter two categories. In conference play the Atlanta native is scoring 14.4 points with 4.3 rebounds and 5.4 helpers in nearly 36 minutes per contest. McIntosh has seven games this season of six or more assists, including a career-best 11 dimes against N.C. A&T on Jan. 20.
Eastern Shore makes a quick swing through Coppin State on Monday night, then after an idle date next Saturday the Hawks welcome Florida A&M to town on Feb. 5. That caps a five-game stint exclusively in the state of Maryland; The Shore crosses state lines again to visit Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Florida on Feb. 10.
5 – Single-digit losses in the Hawks’ first seven MEAC games
.292 – Three-point defense for the Hawks in MEAC play, tops in the league
4.8 – Logan McIntosh assists per game (fourth in MEAC)
Injuries derailed a Bison team that was picked to win the MEAC last season; they finished just 5-11 in conference play before an upstart run to the MEAC Tournament semifinals. One-time MEAC Player of the Year James Daniel III bolted for Tennessee as a graduate transfer, while roommate and top lieutenant James Miller did the same at Missouri State. With so many question marks, this season HU was tabbed eighth in the league.
Howard sports a roster of 11 underclassmen, including five freshmen. After a nonconference stretch that featured visits to Indiana, Gonzaga, and the Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, the Bison had just one Division I win over UNC Wilmington. HU lost its first four MEAC games before upending both N.C. Central and N.C. A&T in overtime last weekend, ending both teams’ undefeated conference runs.
Freshman guard R.J. Cole passed up several other mid-major offers to attend prestigious Howard and has since put a stranglehold on MEAC Rookie of the Year. The St. Anthony (New Jersey) product is sixth in the nation in scoring (23.4 points per game) and leads the conference with 6.0 assists per contest. Cole has won MEAC Rookie of the Week eight straight times and nine overall, averaging an eye-popping 28 points per game in conference play. His 26-point, 4.0-rebound, 6.5-assists, 2.5-steal line from last weekend earned him CBS Sports’ National Freshman of the Week, a first for any MEAC player.
Cole has reduced reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year Charles Williams to almost an afterthought, but the super sophomore still ranks second in the MEAC with 20.0 points per game, trailing only his teammate. Cole and Williams account for nearly 60 percent of the Bison’s scoring; in their Dec. 22 win over UNCW they went for 72 of the team’s 80 points (42 for Cole, 30 for Williams). The Bison’s next-highest scorer is Kyle Foster, who averages just 6.9 points per game.
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-HU women’s basketball game, which tips at 2. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 3:45 p.m. with Will DeBoer and Dave Byrd on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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