Hawks Look to Slow Runnin’ Hokies
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball (3-7) wraps up its Commonwealth weekend with a visit to Virginia Tech (8-1) on Sunday afternoon. Tip from Cassell Coliseum is set for 3 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Hawks rebounded from another cold first half for a steady second in a 71-49 loss at Liberty on Friday night. Eastern Shore tied the Flames 33-33 in the second half. Logan McIntosh paced The Shore again with 18 points, including 15 in the second half, adding seven rebounds and three assists to boot.
Bobby Collins on the Matchup
“There’s not much else you can say about Virginia Tech. We’re prepared to give our absolute best effort, and we’ll see what happens.”
Virginia Tech has won all seven previous matchups with Eastern Shore. The teams met one year and three days ago on Dec. 7, 2016 in Blacksburg. After falling behind by 22 at the half, Eastern Shore got it back to 54-45 with under eight to play, but Virginia Tech pulled away late for a 75-59 win. Ryan Andino had 23 points for the Hawks, including seven threes. Zach LeDay came off the bench to lead the Hokies with 23 of his own.
Hawk Quick Shots
The Hawks were held to just 16 points in the first half as Liberty closed the opening session on a 14-0 run over the last 4:09. Eastern Shore didn’t score again until nearly five minutes into the second half. Once the Hawks stopped the bleeding they finished strong, shooting 42 percent in the second half after just 24 percent in the first.
McIntosh has solidified himself as The Shore’s most consistent player. The Atlanta native and only active senior on roster is averaging 15 points, five rebounds, and 5.3 assists over his last three games. He has played at least 34 minutes in every game since returning from a back injury that sidelined him for three November contests.
Eastern Shore has four nonconference games to go before MEAC play begins on Jan. 3 at Morgan State. The Hawks head to the Midwest for matchups at Creighton (Dec. 15), Iowa State (Dec. 20), and Drake (Dec. 22) before dismissing for Christmas. The team regroups on Dec. 31 to face Central Penn at home before the start of league play.
.923 – Free throw percentage for the Hawks at Liberty, their best mark of the year
35.5 – Average margin of defeat for the Hawks in six true road games this season
36.2 – Minutes per game for Logan McIntosh since returning from injury on Nov. 24
About Virginia Tech
The Hokies won 22 games and advanced to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in 2016-17, earning their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2007. They lost in the first round to eighth-seeded Wisconsin.
Under the tutelage of fourth-year boss Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech is off to a blazing start in 2017-18. The Hokies lead the nation with 96.6 points per game, eclipsing the century mark three times and winning their eight games by an average margin of 26 points. VT’s only loss came to Saint Louis in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 16; they responded by blitzing Washington 103-79 the next day.
After missing the first two games, senior guard Justin Bibbs has paced the Hokies’ deadly attack. The Dayton, Ohio native ranks fifth in the ACC with a team-high 18.6 points per game, shooting an eye-popping .595 from the floor, .462 from three, and .947 from the line. Bibbs poured in 30 in VT’s win over Washington, then went for 25 on Nov. 21 against Houston Baptist.
Eastern Shore assistant coach Ace Custis is back at the home of legendary college basketball career. Custis played for Virginia tech from 1993-97, finishing with 1,706 points and 1,777 rebounds. He helped lead the Hokies to the 1995 NIT championship and was named all-conference each of his final three seasons. Virginia Tech retired Custis’ number 20 in 2007, making him just the fourth former Hokie to earn the recognition (Bimbo Coles, Dell Curry, Allan Bristow).
Sunday’s game will be broadcast locally on flagship radio station Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Pregame coverage starts at 2:45 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call for The Shore Sports Network.
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