Hawks Close Out Home-Heavy Stretch against Florida A&M
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (5-19, 1-8 MEAC) will play its fifth straight game in Maryland, including four at home, welcoming Florida A&M (4-21, 3-6 MEAC) to town on Monday night. Tip from the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center is set for 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore closed out a tough January with another one-possession loss, watching a potential game-winner from Sean Hoggs fall short with 15 seconds to go in a 71-68 loss at Coppin State last Monday. Logan McIntosh led all scorers with 23 points in 38 minutes, while Ahmad Frost bounced back with 17 points and Tyler Jones added 13. The Shore played the Eagles razor-thin, making just one fewer field goal and one fewer free throw in the game.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“Florida A&M is a very rugged team, they’re very scrappy. They play 95 percent man-to-man, and they have some very good athletes surrounded by some very good shooters. We just have to lace them up and taking care of home court. We have our students back, plus our band and our cheerleaders, so I’m very excited about that.”
This will be the 62nd matchup between the Hawks and the Rattlers. Florida A&M leads the all-time series 39-22, and the road team has won each of the last two matchups.
The Hawks avenged an 81-80 double overtime loss in Princess Anne two seasons ago with a win in Tallahassee last Jan. 23. The Hawks led wire-to-wire at the Lawson Center, pushing the lead to 20 and holding off a late Rattler charge to win 86-79. Bakari Copeland paced The Shore with 25 points, while Derrico Peck added a career-high 15 points and seven boards off the bench.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks have lost seven in a row and are 1-8 in MEAC play, eclipsing their conference losses from last season when they went 9-7 and finished sixth in the league. Seven of The Shore’s eight conference losses have been by 10 points or fewer, and the team’s average margin of defeat since their seven-game skid is just 7.9 points per game.
Miryne Thomas missed Monday’s game with a left knee injury but is set to return to the lineup on Monday night. Thomas registered his second straight double-double with a 17-point, 10-rebound effort against Howard last Saturday. The freshman now has four double-doubles on the season, one shy of First-Team All-MEAC forward Bakari Copeland’s team-best five from last year. Thomas is averaging 9.1 rebounds in conference play, third only to Bethune-Cookman’s Soufiyane Diakite (12.8) and Morgan State’s Phillip Carr (9.9).
After playing five straight games in the state of Maryland, the Hawks kick off four straight on the road with visits to Bethune-Cookman on Saturday and Howard next Monday. The Shore has two home games remaining on its schedule and will next be at the Hytche Center for Homecoming against Norfolk State on Feb. 24.
7.3 – Margin of defeat for the Hawks in their eight MEAC losses
15.7 – Points per game for Logan McIntosh in MEAC play, good for 12th in the league
3 – Hawks who played 38+ minutes on Monday at Coppin State (Frost, Jones, McIntosh)
About Florida A&M
Florida A&M closed out the 2017 calendar on a 11-game losing streak before beating Howard to open MEAC play. The Rattlers have since fallen back on hard times, losing three in a row, including an 83-80 defeat at Howard on Saturday. FAMU finished 11th in the MEAC last season and was picked to finish 11th this season as well.
Senior forward Desmond Williams has grown into one of the top post options in the MEAC. The Atmore, Ala. native leads the Rattlers with 17.8 PPG (fifth in MEAC) and 35.4 MPG (fourth in MEAC) and is second on the team with 5.8 RPG (13th in MEAC). Williams earned third-team All-MEAC honors last season was a preseason second-team selection this year.
After finishing 7-23 last season, Florida A&M parted ways with Byron Samuels and hired Robert McCullum to the third head coaching job in his 30-year career. McCullum arrived in Tallahassee after three years as an assistant at Oregon, helping the Ducks to their first Final Four since 1938. The Birmingham, Ala. native previously served as a head coach at Western Michigan (2000-03) and South Florida (2003-07) and has coached in a dozen other places, including a stint in the Chinese Basketball Association and one year leading the Nigerian national team.
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-FAMU women’s basketball game, which tips at 5:30. Pregame coverage starts at approximately 7:15 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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