Hawks Lace Up for Final Road Game at N.C. A&T
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (6-22, 2-11 MEAC) wraps up the road portion of its schedule with a Monday night matchup at North Carolina A&T State (16-11, 9-3 MEAC). Tip from the Corbett Sports Center is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
Eastern Shore got as close as three early in the second half, but North Carolina Central kicked it into overdrive late, leading wire-to-wire in a 77-49 win in Durham on Saturday. Ahmad Frost led all scorers with 18 points, while reigning MEAC Co-Rookie of the Week Miryne Thomas added nine points and seven rebounds.
This will be the 85th matchup between the Hawks and the Aggies. N.C. A&T leads the all-time series 54-31 and avenged three losses to The Shore last season with a narrow win at the Hytche Center earlier this season.
The Aggies got a crucial stop with under 10 seconds to go, pulling out a 66-64 win over the Hawks. Tyler Jones netted a game-high 18 points with six rebounds for Eastern Shore. Femi Olujobi led the way for A&T with 17 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 2:13 to go to put the Aggies up to stay.
Hawk Quick Shots
Eastern Shore comes in on a three-game losing streak, dropping the three games by an average margin of 26.7 points. The Hawks’ 49 points on Saturday were their lowest output in MEAC play this season. It was the first time since Dec. 20 at Iowa State and eighth time this season Eastern Shore failed to crack 50 on the scoreboard.
Miryne Thomas was named MEAC Co-Rookie of the Week last Tuesday, sharing the honor with Howard’s R.J. Cole. Thomas averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two games at Bethune-Cookman and Howard, notching a career-high 21 points last Saturday in Daytona Beach. The weekly honor was the first for any Hawk since Bakari Copeland and Derrico Peck won Player and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, last Jan. 30. Thomas is posting 9.2 rebounds per game in MEAC play, third in the league and tops among freshmen.
Sophomore forward Tyler Jones is the only Hawk to start all 28 games this season. Last year, forwards Bakari Copeland and Isaac Taylor both started all 34 games for Eastern Shore. Jones leads the team in scoring in MEAC play, netting 13.9 points in conference games this season.
Monday night’s contest is the Hawks’ final road games of the season. Eastern Shore is 0-17 in true road games this season and 1-18 in games away from the Hytche Center. The Shore returns to Princess Anne for its final two regular season games, Homecoming against Norfolk State on Saturday and Senior Night against Delaware State next Monday.
10 – 15-point games for Ahmad Frost this season (none as freshman)
0-17 – Road record for the Hawks this season (5-14 in 2016-17)
26.7 – Average margin of defeat for Eastern Shore in its last three games (7.3 points in its first eight MEAC losses)
About North Carolina A&T State
Since pushing their conference record to 5-0 with a win over the Hawks on Jan. 20, the Aggies have fallen back to earth, going 4-3 in their last seven games. NCAT snapped a two-game skid with an 83-69 win over Howard on Saturday.
After first-place Savannah State’s loss at Norfolk State on Saturday, North Carolina A&T sits just one game back of the top of the MEAC. The Aggies are tied with Bethune-Cookman for second and lead fourth-place Hampton and fifth-place NSU by half a game and one game, respectively. While the regular season crown is in their sights, NCAT could also easily finish as low as seventh.
Senior forward Davaris McGowens has upped his game in MEAC play in the midst of frontcourt mate Femi Olujobi’s struggles. The Taylors, South Carolina native is posting 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in MEAC play, shooting a stunning 61.5 percent from the floor. McGowens has posted three double-doubles in the last month, including a 17-point, 13-board effort on Saturday against Howard.
Now in his second full season in Greensboro, Aggie boss Jay Joyner has finally constructed a team in his own image. Only five A&T players remain from last year’s dreadful three-win squad, complimented by 11 newcomers, including the transfer trio of Aaren Edmead, Japhet Kadji, and Femi Olujobi. Joyner took over as interim head coach of the Aggies in Jan. 2016, sweating out five wins and shedding the interim tag just before NCAT’s MEAC Tournament game against Coppin State that season.
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-NCAT 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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