Hawks look to elevate inside game against Deacons
Coach Fred Batchelor is hoping his bench can step up at Wake Forest.
Dec. 9, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -

When the University of Maryland Eastern Shore traveled south from Blacksburg, Virginia to Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Thursday, they remained in Atlantic Coast Conference Country. But on Saturday (Dec. 9) they face a team as different from the Hokies as the snowy weather that greeted them on Friday.

Good size, size and size, Hawks head coach Fred Batchelor said. Size and then depth with their size too. When they go to their bench they get more athletic too. We talked about the difference and they score inside and dominate the paint a little more. Then they do the perimeter. I was really pleased in our last game against Virginia tech that we outscore them in the paint. That was encouraging.

The Hawks will look to continue that scoring in the paint against a Deacs squad that  tied a program record with 12 blocks against Appalachian State last time out. On the year, Wake Forest has tallied 53 blocks, second-best in the ACC and 12th in the country.

In that game, Alex Sharp (6-foot-1) led the way with four, followed closely behind by Ona Udoh (6-1) and Raegyn Branch (6-2) with three each. Tyra Whitehead (6-3) recorded her second double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds.



Eight of the teams 12 players are six feet tall or taller.

They are as athletic as we are and that is the challenge when you play up at a higher level, Batchelor said. Being able to keep them off the glass is going to be key. They are not scoring a ton of point right now. But they have the ability to get second shots and defend the paint, where we have had some success scoring in the paint. That is going to be our biggest challenge tonight because I think their strength is in their forwards.

For the Hawks, Bairesha Gill-Miles (Lexington, Kentucky) will make her second career start at forward and the team will still be without Jordyn Smith (Durham, North Carolina) who is recovering from the injured ankle she suffered at George Mason. Since The Shore wont hit the court again for a week, Batchelor hopes the extended time off will help his forward to mend.

With Smith still out, the Hawks will need more strong minutes from Dominique Walker (Bel Air, Maryland) who hit the glass hard at Virginia Tech, as well as the other reserve forwards.

Its going to be key, when we go to our bench, how our bench plays as opposed to their bench, Batchelor said. That is going to be interesting. I think our starters began the game really well for us the other night and got us off to a good start. But I thought we lost a little something when we went to the bench. Tonight, will be interesting because our starters will need to play well and our bench will need to be able to hold their own against theirs for us to put ourselves in a position to compete.

Martha Thompson (Bedford Heights, Ohio) led the Hawks in scoring at Virginia Tech and is averaging 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. The coaching staff will be looking for her to continue to fill up the box score, but get better looks than she did against the Hokies.

In the backcourt, Wake Forest leans a lot on senior guard Amber Campbell continues her rise up the Wake Forest scoring charts as she currently ranks 12th all-time in program history with 1,273 career points.

Alexus Hicks (Raleigh, North Carolina) continues to lead the Hawks backcourt from the point with 8.6 points, 3.6 assists and an impressive 4.6 rebounds despite being just 5-foot-5.

Keyera Eaton (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) returned to the court for the first time this season and will be playing on her home turf.

We need to continue to score in the paint and have more offensive rebounds than our opponent, Batchelor said. Those two things I think will be the focus in the game tonight.

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

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