Hawks looking to leave Alaska with Binghamton win
Nov. 23, 2017
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -
Following Tuesday's loss to Alaska Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout, University of Maryland Eastern Shore head coach Fred Batchelor was disappointed not so much in the outcome of the 69-59 loss, but rather what he saw as a team that outworked his.
Despite a strong performance and overall effort by freshman Bairesha Gill-Miles, Batchelor saw a team that he didn't think wanted the win as bad as the Seawolves they matched up against. It was telling the postgame interview that Batchelor said he thought Gill-Miles seemed at times to be battling UAA alone.
"We just need to play a little bit better," Batchelor said. "The people here have been really kind and the experience has been really great for us. It's just too bad we weren't able to come away with a win."
The Shore's last chance to pick up that first victory on this 13-day road trip is on Thursday afternoon against Binghamton University (3-2), which dropped a 60-55 decision to Tulsa in the opening round.
The Bearcats -- who play in the America East Conference -- got a big game (17 points, 5 assists) from leading scorer Imani Watkins and double-digit scoring from Jasmine Sina (11 points) and Kai Moon (11 points, 8 boards), but that wasn't enough to grab the win.
One of the biggest problems for the Hawks has been that with two players stepping into starting roles the pool of reserve players is much further depleted that Batchelor would like. It has also been tough to find the right combination in the backcourt that has allowed senior Alexus Hicks (Raleigh, North Carolina) to become a bigger part of the offense rather than just focusing on running it.
Hicks, who took over to Byrom at the point after she was injured 12 games into last season, is much more comfortable -- and productive -- at the two where she can look to knock down her won shot from the outside.
The team's leading shooter from 3-point range by percentage, and tied with freshman Amanda Carney (Parlin, New Jersey) for makes with 6, Hicks made two first-half 3's against the Seawolves, but finished with just 10 points overall.
While Gill-Miles played aggressively and took advantage of her opportunities, the Hawks got a better all-around game from graduate transfer Martha Thompson (Bedford Heights, Ohio) who stuffed the box score with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Batchelor will be looking to get some more offense from more sources despite four Hawks in double digits against UAA including the team's scoring leader Jordyn Smith (10.5 points per game).
"The bottom line is that we scored 59 points -- which is just not enough -- and if you hold a team to less than 60 points then your odds of winning go way up," Batchelor said.
Eastern Shore will need to play big on the inside as well with the Bearcats sporting a lineup that includes Alyssa James -- the America East Conference's record holder for blocked shots in a game with 11. She's also No. 6 on the conference's career list in the category.
James has 24 blocks in five games this season and averages 7.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.
The Bearcats feature six player averaging at least 7.4 points per game and have outrebounded their opponents 46.0 to 42.4 rebounds per contest. They have also converted more than 75 percent of their free throws, an area the Hawks have struggled.
Junior Rebecca Carmondy worked her way into the starting lineup in the third game of the season and has responded averaging 8.4 points and 6.0 rebounds.
For more information on Eastern Shore Athletics visit http://www.easternshorehawks.com/.
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