Hawks Prep for Exhibition against CNU
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Looking to tighten the screws with the regular season on the horizon, Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball will lace up for an exhibition game against Division III Christopher Newport University on Thursday night. Tipoff for the dress rehearsal is set for 7 p.m. at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.
Last Time Out
The Hawks' Cinderella run through the MEAC Tournament ended with a 79-49 semifinal loss to eventual league champ North Carolina Central at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia Bakari Copeland capped a stellar career with 15 points, while Tyler Jones chipped in eight points and pulled down six rebounds off the bench. Eastern Shore finished the season at 14-20 after reaching the MEAC semifinals for the first time since 1993-94.
This is the first meeting between the Hawks and Captains, who play in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC).
Hawk Quick Shots
The Shore has posted double-digit wins in each of the last three seasons, the first time it has sustained that success since doing it four years in a row from 1998-99 through 2001-02. Eastern Shore's 42 wins over the last three seasons are the most since winning 45 in a row from 1992-93 through 1994-95.
While the Hawks returned four starters from last year's squad, only senior guard Logan McIntosh is healthy enough to play tonight. Last season the Atlanta native averaged 8.6 points per game, good for third on the team, and dished out 4.4 assists per contest, the fifth-best total in the MEAC. Guard Dontae Caldwell and forward Isaac Taylor are likely out for the season with injuries, while second-team Preseason All-MEAC guard Ryan Andino is expected to miss a handful of early tilts with a minor ailment.
Eastern Shore opens the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, Nov. 10, at the Hytche Center against another Division III foe, the University of Valley Forge. The Hawks beat the Patriots 90-65 last Jan. 2.
7 - New players on roster for The Shore, including five true freshmen
76.8 - Points per game in MEAC play for the Hawks last year, good for second in the league
3 - Nonconference home games for the Hawks in the regular season (Nov. 10 vs. Valley Forge, Dec. 2 vs. American, Dec. 31 vs. Central Penn)
About Christopher Newport
CNU is one of the top dogs in Division III men's basketball, boasting a .791 winning percentage in seven seasons under head coach John Krikorian. The Captains have won 57 games over the last two seasons against just five losses. In 2016-17, CNU finished 27-3, winning their second straight CAC title and advancing to the Sweet 16. The year before, they made their first Final Four before losing to eventual national champion St. Thomas (Minnesota).
Senior guard Marcus Carter is the Captains' undisputed leader. The Williamsburg, Va. native led the team in scoring (12.8) last season and leads all returning teammates in the five major statistical categories (6.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG). Carter was an NABC First-Team All-American and CAC Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2015-16, averaging 15.7 points and seven rebounds per game for the Final Four-bound Caps.
Christopher Newport enjoys one of D3's top rivalries against area outfit Salisbury University. Five straight matchups have been decided by one possession, and CNU has beaten SU by one point in two straight CAC championship games. The Captains are 35-1 in league play over their last two seasons; their lone loss came at Salisbury on Dec. 17, 2016, when the Sea Gulls hit a halfcourt buzzer-beater to win 59-58. CNU returned the favor in the CAC title tilt, closing on an 11-1 run to win 63-62 and grab the league's automatic bid.
Thursday's game will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Radio 960 AM WTGM and online at easternshorehawks.com with pregame coverage starting at 6:45 p.m. Will DeBoer returns for his second season as the Voice of the Hawks; he will be joined behind the mic by David Byrd for the call on The Shore Sports Network from SFMSports.net.
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