Ishaq Pitt (pictured) and the Hawks look to get to .500 on the year

Nov. 19, 2013

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team returns to the William P. Hytche Athletic Center on Wednesday, Nov. 20, as the Hawks are set to host Mount St. Mary’s in a non-conference bout at 7 p.m. The meeting is the first between the two since 1991, where the Hawks fell to The Mount, 88-63, in Emmitsburg, Md. This is also the second ever meeting between the two schools.

UMES (1-2) is looking to get back to .500 on the season after dropping a 109-63 decision at Iowa last Thursday night. The Hawks saw junior guard Isaac Smith III (Chicago, Ill.) record 19 points in his UMES debut, while senior forward Francis Ezeiru (Enugu, Nigeria) just missed a double-double with eight points and nine boards. The Hawks have seen six double-digit point totals by players this year.

The Hawk offense has begun the season with its best statistical numbers since 1998-99, a span of 15 years. The men have tallied 172 points in three games, good for an average of 70.7 points-per-game. Junior guard Kyree Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.) leads the way with a 25.0 ppg average, while Smith is averaging 19 and freshman guard Hakeem Baxter (Philadelphia, Pa.) stands at 12.7. On the other side, MSM is averaging 70.2 ppg and have been outscored by its opponents by 21 points in four games.



The two schools are shooting nearly identical from the floor as each sit at 40-percent. MSM has shot well from long-range with an accuracy rate of 31-percent, while UMES is six points lower at 25. The Hawks also hold an advantage in rebounds and free-throw percentage. The Mount sits at 0-4 on the season, its worst start to begin a year since 2007-08 when they won the NEC Title and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Let’s take a look at a few game notes for the contest:

• HISTORY IN THE MAKING: UMES has tallied 172 points so far, its highest point total through its first three games to begin a season since the 1998-99 season, a span of 15 years. UMES is averaging 70.7 ppg so far and have three players averaging at least 12 ppg

• A STEALING BUNCH: The Hawks have seen 13-of-15 players on their roster record steals this season. The Hawks stand fourth in the MEAC with an average of 8.0 steals-per-game. Sophomore Travis Trim leads the team with five, good for eighth overall in the conference

• THE IMPORTANCE OF THE THREE: In its two losses this year, UMES has shot just 7-of-40 from long range (18 percent). UMES tallied a 41-percent clip (7-for-17) in its win over Salisbury. The Hawks are shooting 23-percent better from long-range in wins. Also, opponents are shooting nearly 35-percent from three-point territory against the Hawks.

• BAXTER HAS THE HAWKS’ BACK: Freshman Hakeem Baxter has been all over the court for UMES. He is currently fourth in the MEAC with an average of 32 minutes-per-game. The Philly native is second on the team in field-goal percentage (13-of-25) and scoring (12.7 ppg). He has also led UMES in rebounding twice this season and has dished out four assists

• COMING OUT OF THE GATES STRONG: Over their first three games, the Hawks have shot 39-of-92 from the floor in the first half. The 42-percent clip has totaled 104 points and is spearheaded by Kyree Jones, who has 33 points combined through the first period in 2013-14

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