Hawks face Hampton in second round of MEAC Tourney
March 8, 2017

NORFOLK, Virginia -

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore did what it has done so often this year coming from behind to pick up another victory against MEAC Tournament No. 12 seed North Carolina A&T to open Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament play.

On Thursday (March 9) at 8 p.m., No. 5 seed Eastern Shore (13-19) will now face No. 4 seed Hampton University.

First-Team All-MEAC selection Bakari Copeland (Decatur, Georgia) led the Shore with 25 points and nine rebounds, including 16 in the first half, when he seemed to almost single-handedly will the team to keep it close heading into the half.

The senior ranks fifth in the MEAC with 17.5 points per game, including 19.4 in league play. Copeland has eclipsed the 20-point mark 11 times (eight in MEAC play), including a career-high 29 in a 3-overtime win against N.C. A&T on Feb. 20.

Ryan Andino (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is second on the team with 13.3 points per game, good for Top 15 in the MEAC. As of March 8, he is also second in the NCAA in total 3-pointers (117) and third in 3's per game (3.66). Andino has eclipsed the 20-point threshold seven times this season, including a career-high 31 points (9-13 3PT) at North Carolina A&T on Jan. 9. All of his 15 points in the first round came from behind the arc.

In the contests where the Hawks have played their best this season, someone unexpected has come through with a big game. Against A&T, it was freshman Tyler Jones (Atlantic City, New Jersey) who scored 12 off the bench, blocked two shots and grabbed three rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.

The Hawks victory broke a streak of five straight opening game losses in the MEAC Tournament. Until Monday, the last victory came, 87-85, against Florida A&M on March 8, 2011, at Joel Coliseum in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

They now will attempt to win a second game in the MEAC Tournament for the first time since the 1973-74 season. That year they had a first-round bye, defeated Howard 92-89 and then topped Morgan State 77-62 to win the championship.

This is the first quarterfinal appearance for The Shore since 2015 when the Hawks earned a first-round bye and then fell to Hampton in their opening game of the tourney.

Freshman guard Jermaine Marrow earned third-team All-MEAC and All-Rookie honors with an outstanding debut. The Newport News, Va. native boasts 15.4 points per game and 3.2 assists per game, both Top 15 in the league. Marrow eclipsed the 20-point mark 10 times, including a 31-point outburst at Florida A&M on Feb. 20.

The two-time defending MEAC Tournament champs, Hampton (7-13) is a perennial threat to earn the league's automatic NCAA berth. The Pirates completed a stunning run to the 2015 conference crown, including an upset of Eastern Shore in the quarterfinals, and followed it up in 2016 with a regular season-tournament double crown. Hampton has won six MEAC Tournament championships since 2001, including a 2006 crown with current Hawk skipper Bobby Collins at the helm. 

Games can be heard locally on Fox Sports Radio 960 AM WTGM or on www.EasternShoreHawks.com. Will DeBoer will have the call Thursday from The Scope on The Shore Sports Network.



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