Hawks run away from Rattlers, 87-70
Jordyn Smith scored a season-high 22 points against FAMU.
Jordyn Smith scored a season-high 22 points against FAMU.
Feb. 5, 2018

Final Stats

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS 

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -  The University of Maryland Eastern Shore put up shots early and often in Monday’s 87-70 runaway victory against visiting Florida A&M — but most importantly they made them.

The Hawks (7-15, 4-6 MEAC) shot 44 percent from the field, 29 percent from three and 71 percent from the free throw line (17-of-24). They put the Rattlers in a 52-38 halftime hole and rolled with five Shore players finishing in double digits, led by Jordyn Smiths (Durham, North Carolina) season-high 22 points.

“It helped that in the first half we shot 54 percent from the field,” said head coach Fred Batchelor, who spent much of the last week away from the team dealing with a family issue. “I thought coach Sidney Raikes and coach Casey Morton did a great job of preparing them in my absence.

“I was just able to show up and enjoy them playing and putting the ball in the basket.”

It was on the inside where the Hawks thrived, scoring 28 points in the paint.


 

 

Smith and Tori Morris (Herndon, Virginia) played big in the first half with Gill-Miles in foul trouble. Morris finished with 11 points, five rebounds, a pair of blocks in 21 minutes. Smith added four rebounds, two assists, a block and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.

Jordan is a kid where I am really thinking about how we can get her more touches and more involved, Batchelor said. If we can get her consistently taking double-digit shots, I think we are going to be in good shape because I think she can shoot a good percentage with that.

Junior Keyera Eaton (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) finished with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers in 34 minutes. Classmate Ciani Byrom (Winston-Salem North Carolina) finished with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, a block and a pair of steals.

Senior guard Alexus Hicks (Raleigh, North Carolina) chipped in eight points, four assists, four steals and seven boards.

“I thought we have struggled with not putting the ball in the basket at a high enough percentage to be successful,” Batchelor said. “I thought today they were able to do that. It gave us a lead and I thought defensively we did what we needed to do on the glass more than anything else but we have to do a better job of communicating on defense.”

The Hawks pulled down a season-high 33 defensive boards which were part of a season-high 52 total rebounds. They also hit the offensive glass 19 times resulting in 21 second-chance points and scored 26 points off 18 Rattlers turnovers.

Florence Ouattara scored a game-high 26 points for the Rattlers and impressed the Hawks staff enough that Batchelor took a moment with her after the win.

“I told her I thought she was a helluva  player and a helluva talent — she’s young and just to keep working,” Batchelor said. “I told her I didn’t want to play against her, but I hate to see kids who have a whole lot of talent, but don’t get any better. Even if I have to play against her, I appreciate the game too much not to encourage a kid who I think has some high-level talent.

“Hopefully we can keep her below 26 the next couple times we play her, but I definitely know who she is.”

The Hawks who have won three of their last four games will next travel to Bethune-Cookman (Feb. 10) and then head to Howard (Feb. 12).

I think we are peaking at the right time, Batchelor said. We just have to keep it going and get better defensively.

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

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