George Mason three-headed monster too much for Hawks
Martha Thompson led the Hawks with 21 points at George Mason.
Nov. 30, 2017

Final Stats

FAIRFAX, Virginia -

Nothing about Wednesday nights matchup with George Mason (7-2) was every going to be easy for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. But outsized and still without a pair of regular starters out with injury, the Hawks (1-5) hung close cutting the Patriots lead to single digits several times in the second half before falling 82-68.

Overall, I was pleased with the way we competed, Hawks head coach Fred Batchelor said. I thought we played well enough at times to steal the game, however, I thought they made some big plays too when they needed them most.

The Patriots held a 45-34 rebounding advantage, but the Hawks forced 19 turnovers, while coughing it up just 11 times themselves. But George Mason went to the line 33 times — making 21 and the Hawks were just 11 of 18 from the line and shot 36 percent from the field to the Patriots 50 percent.

The cushion at the free throw line helps a lot,” “Always at home you get a little benefit of the doubt and they got a little touch here and a touch there. I just thought we played hard enough to give ourselves a chance to win, but we didnt play well enough to steal it.


 

 

The Patriots got huge games from 6-foot-5, 5th-year graduate transfer Natalie Butler and freshman point guard Nicole Cardano-Hillary. Butler put up 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Cardano-Hillary scored 25 of her own and added four assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore Jacy Bolton chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

But Butler wasnt the only graduate transfer that showed up to play at Eaglebank arena. The Shores Martha Thompson (Bedford Heights, Ohio) poured in a season-high 21 points to go with six rebounds, an assist and two steals.

Martha was sick as a dog, Batchelor said. I dont know how shes playing, at half time she was throwing up and I kept checking on her, but she said she was OK and she didnt want to come out of the game. She wants to compete. She has something to prove and I thought tonight she got it going in a good way for us. When we get that type of play from someone it allows other people to follow and I thought she made buckets when we needed it at critical times.

Senior Tori Morris (Herndon, Virginia) got into early foul trouble guarding Butler and graduate student Jordyn Smith (Durham, North Carolina) hurt her ankle late in the first half leaving 6-foot-2 sophomore Chioma Nkpuechina (Anambria, Nigeria) to play a season-high 14 minutes primarily matching up with Butler. She fouled out late with a rebound and a steal, but worked hard using her athleticism against Butler.

That was huge, Batchelor said. When Tori got in foul trouble and Jordyn went down, Chioma stepped up when we needed her and she gave us good minutes against probably one of the best bigs we are going to see all year long. I though she showed a lot of competitive spirit which I have really been asking them for and I thought we made a really big step tonight.

Smith herself impressed Batchelor gutting it out in the second half with others in foul trouble and playing mostly on one leg finishing with five points and six rebounds.

Alexus Hicks (Raleigh, North Carolina) finished with 15 points, four assists, two steals and a pair of rebounds. Bairesha Gill-Miles (Lexington, Kentucky) had 10 points and six boards.

Eastern Shore did get some good news as junior guard Keyera Eaton (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) was cleared by the doctor on Wednesday to return to the court.

The Hawks will actually have a few days to prepare before they hit the road again to face Virginia Tech (Dec. 6) and Wake Forest (Dec. 9). Then they will return home for three straight at the William P. Hytche Center.

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

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