Hawks Face Quick Turnaround at Howard
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Sixteen days after facing the Bison at home, Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (6-20, 2-9 MEAC) will square off against Howard (7-19, 4-6 MEAC) again on Monday night in Washington, D.C. Tip from Burr Gymnasium is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore worked a 12-point halftime deficit to two with 11:05 to go but faded late, bowing at Bethune-Cookman 87-67 on Saturday afternoon. It was just the Hawks’ second loss by more than 10 points in MEAC play this season. Miryne Thomas netted a career-high 21 points and hauled in eight rebounds, while Tyler Jones shot 9-of-12 from the floor for 21 points himself.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“Howard is really playing well. They have two prolific scorers, so our work is cut out for us again. We definitely have to do a better job of containing them with perimeter defense.”
This will be the 103rd matchup between the Hawks and the Bison. Howard leads the all-time series 60-42 and has won the last four matchups dating back to the 2015-16 season. Eastern Shore last beat HU on Feb. 1, 2016 in Princess Anne and last won in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 27, 2010.
The Bison won this season’s first matchup at the Hytche Athletic Center on Jan. 27. The Hawks led for nearly the first 30 minutes of the game, but Howard went on a late stampede to take it 85-75. Miryne Thomas notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Logan McIntosh had 17 points and dished out eight assists.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks’ 20-point loss on Saturday was their largest margin of defeat since falling by 28 at MEAC leaders Savannah State on Jan. 13. Nine of The Shore’s 11 conference games have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and the Hawks are 2-7 in such games.
Miryne Thomas is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds over his last four games, recording three double-doubles in that span. 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 9.2 rebounds in conference play, the most of any MEAC freshman, and ranks in the top 10 in league field goal percentage (.535).
Sophomore forward Tyler Jones is the only Hawk to start all 26 games this season. Last year, forwards Bakari Copeland and Isaac Taylor both started all 34 games for Eastern Shore. Jones co-leads the team in scoring in MEAC play, along with Logan McIntosh, netting 14.5 points in conference games this season.
Eastern Shore is in the middle of a four-game road swing, all against teams they faced at home earlier this season. Next weekend the Hawks make their visit to the Tar Heel State for a Saturday matchup at North Carolina Central and a Monday showdown with North Carolina A&T State. The Shore’s next home game will be Homecoming against Norfolk State on Feb. 24.
17.0 – Points per game for Miryne Thomas over his last four contests
.469 – Second-half field goal percentage for the Hawks at Bethune-Cookman
The Bison are 4-2 in their last six games after starting 0-4 in MEAC play; they were idle on Saturday. Since their previous win over the Hawks, the Bison are 1-2, edging Florida A&M at home and getting thrashed at Morgan State and against Hampton in D.C. HU is within half a game of a gaggle of teams for seventh in the MEAC and two games back of a tie for fifth.
Freshman guard R.J. Cole has put a stranglehold on MEAC Rookie of the Year. The St. Anthony (New Jersey) product is sixth in the nation in scoring (24.0 points per game) and leads the conference with 5.9 assists per contest. Cole has won MEAC Rookie of the Week 10 times, averaging an eye-popping 27.7 points in conference play; his 26-point, 4.0 rebound, 6.5-assist, 2.5-steal line Jan. 20-22 earned him CBS Sports’ Freshman of the Week, a first for any MEAC player. Cole went for a game-high 28 points in the Bison’s Jan. 27 win at Eastern Shore.
Cole has reduced reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year Charles Williams to almost an afterthought, but the super sophomore still ranks third in the MEAC with 19.7 points per game, trailing only his teammate and Hampton’s Jermaine Marrow. Cole and Williams account for nearly 60 percent of the Bison’s scoring; in their Dec. 22 win over UNC Wilmington they went for 72 of the team’s 80 points (42 for Cole, 30 for Williams). Williams netted 19 against the Hawks two weeks ago.
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 7:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Eastern Shore-HU 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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