The Shore suffers tough loss at Morgan State
Bairesha Gill-Miles and Ciani Byron led the Hawks with 15 points apiece.
Jan. 4, 2018

BALTIMORE, Maryland -

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore battled back from down as many as 10 points in the first half to hold a one-point lead late in the third quarter, but a fourth quarter collapse equaled a 63-50 loss.

“I thought we tried to fight our way in an ugly game,” Hawks coach Fred Batchelor said. “It was effective because I thought Morgan played bad for a while which allowed us to make some plays. I thought they played good enough form beginning to end to win. In the first quarter and the fourth quarter, if you look at the stats I’m sure you’ll see that they outplayed us putting the ball in the basket, but particularly on the glass.”

That was true as the Bears finished the contest with 23 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points. The Hawks held Morgan (8-6, 1-0 MEAC) to 27 percent shooting from the field — including 2-of-12 in the second quarter — but never found their way on offense.

The Shore (3-10, 0-1 MEAC) entered the fourth quarter trailing 40-39, but were outscored 23-11 in the decisive period. Despite entering the fourth quarter with four players having four fouls, Morgan State had no players foul out, while Jordyn Smith (Durham, North Carolina) fouled out for Eastern Shore with just 14 minutes on the court. The Bears went nearly 10 minutes without a foul whistled on them and were assessed just one in the entire fourth quarter.


 

 

 “I thought they were more aggressive,” Batchelor said. “You can’t cry. They don’t get a foul for nine minutes and 52 seconds of the game, but there were other things that mattered as well and I didn’t think we played well enough at both ends of the floor— when we needed to — to be successful on the road.”

Bairesha Gill-Miles (Lexington, Kentucky) scored 15 points in 32 minutes for the Hawks to go with four rebounds, a block and a pair of steals. Batchelor was frustrated that during stretches of the game, Gill-Miles — a freshman — was the only player who seemed to want the ball on offense.

Junior points guard Ciani Byrom (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) struggled in the first half with four points and four turnovers, while also failing to figure out the Morgan pressure. After the break, she came out in attack mode attacking pressure and driving to the basket. It was just her fourth game back from injury.

“I told her at halftime she is going to have to play through it and it is not going to be easy,” Batchelor said. “You have got to play through failure and I think that was the biggest thing she had to get over is not wanting to fail. But if you are healthy enough to play you have to be healthy enough to have the confidence to take a hit. I thought she made some steps today. I think that is going to make her better.”

She finished with 15 points, three rebounds a pair of assists and a steal and had just one turnover in the second half.

Both Gill-Miles and Keyera Eaton (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) were handed technical fouls during the physical game.

“I was disappointed in lack of discipline,” Batchelor said. “We talk a lot about that and I thought we showed a real lack of discipline to get two technical fouls that could have been key moments in the game where we gave them free throws and the ball back. We have to be smarter and more disciplined and I was disappointed we weren’t able to do that tonight.”

The Hawks had just five assists as a team, shot 16-of-30 from the free throw line, and turned the ball over 21 times (allowing 17 Bears points).

“I know we have to play better,” Batchelor said. “I’m looking at some kids who played a lot of minutes who had very little production. You can’t be successful with that.”

The Hawks will host Hampton on Saturday (Jan. 6) at 2 p.m. and Bethune-Cookman Monday at 5:30.

For more information on Eastern Shore Athletics visit http://www.easternshorehawks.com/.

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