Hawks Open Road Swing at Bethune-Cookman
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
After getting off the schneid on Monday night, Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (6-19, 2-8 MEAC) will look to make it two wins in a row as it opens a four-game road swing at Bethune-Cookman (12-12, 6-3 MEAC) on Saturday afternoon. Tip from Moore Gymnasium is set for approximately 4 p.m.
Last Time Out
Logan McIntosh hit the tying and go-ahead free throws with 6.4 seconds left, helping Eastern Shore snap a seven-game losing streak with a 62-61 win over Florida A&M on Monday night. McIntosh finished with 13 points, shooting 7-of-9 from the line. Ahmad Frost led all scorers with 19, while Miryne Thomas notched his third straight double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“Bethune-Cookman is a very hostile environment. It’s going to be hot in that little gym, it’s going to be packed. I actually love playing there because it’s hot and we get loose – everybody wants to run and jump and be athletic. I’ve had a lot of success there and I look forward to our guys going there and playing in front of that hostile environment.”
This will be the 74th matchup between the Hawks and Wildcats. Bethune-Cookman leads the all-time series 48-25 and snapped a four-game series skid last month at the Hytche Center. The Hawks led by nine with 5:34 to play but faltered late, bowing to the Wildcats 89-84. Brandon Tabb paced BCU with a season-high 28 points, while Ahmad Frost went for 21 to lead The Shore. Seven straight games between the two teams dating back to the 2012-13 season have been decided by single digits.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks’ win over Florida A&M was their first since a 92-83 triumph over Hampton on Jan. 6. It was also the team’s first win on a Monday this season. Nine of The Shore’s 10 conference games have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and the Hawks are 2-7 in such games.
After missing the team’s previous game, Miryne Thomas returned to the lineup to record his third straight double-double on Monday night. The freshman now has five double-doubles on the season, matching First-Team All-MEAC forward Bakari Copeland’s team-best total from last year. Thomas is averaging 9.3 rebounds in conference play, the most of any MEAC freshman, and ranks in the top 10 in league field goal percentage (.529).
The Hawks have not played a game outside the state of Maryland in almost four weeks, last crossing state lines to visit South Carolina State on Jan. 15. Eastern Shore’s last five games have been in their home state, including four at home and one at Coppin State in Baltimore. The Shore is now on the road for four straight games, continuing on Monday night at Howard. The Hawks’ next home game will be Homecoming against Norfolk State on Feb. 24.
7 – Straight Shore-BCU matchups that have been decided by single digits
5 – Double-doubles for Miryne Thomas this season
26 – Days since the Hawks played a game outside Maryland
After winning six straight games to start the MEAC season, Bethune-Cookman has lost three out of four and fallen into a three-way tie for third in the league. The Wildcats, as well as N.C. Central and Norfolk State, are each two games back of first-place N.C. A&T and Savannah State, while Hampton and Morgan State are nipping on their heels at one-half and one game back, respectively.
Senior guard Brandon Tabb is the heart and soul of the Wildcats’ unexpected turnaround. The preseason first-team All-MEAC selection ranks sixth in the MEAC in points (17.2) and second in the nation with an eye-popping .929 free-throw percentage. Tabb has cracked 20 points eight times, including a season-high 28 points against Eastern Shore last month. The Hawks limited the Hampton, Va. native to 11 and 12 points in the two matchups last year.
First-hear Wildcat boss Ryan Ridder boasts one of the best basketball pedigrees in Florida. He is the son of Steve Ridder, who has won more than 600 games over 29 seasons for NAIA/Division II powerhouse Embry-Riddle. The younger Ridder, who played for his father for two seasons and graduated from ERAU in 2008, won 95 games over four seasons leading JUCO outfit Daytona State College before accepting his first Division I head job last March 31.
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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