DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team was defeated by Bethune-Cookman 87-67 on Saturday afternoon at Moore Gymnasium.
The Hawks were down 12 at halftime and brought the game back within two points but could not finish. Head Coach Bobby Collins said he liked the things his team did, but they need more consistency.
“I thought we made a valiant effort to get back into the game. A couple turnovers started a rally for them, and they just kept coming at us in waves,” Collins said. “We just couldn’t get the stop we needed when they made that run.”
The Hawks (6-20, 2-9 MEAC) lead 7-2 early, but the Wildcats (13-12, 7-3 MEAC) went up and did not look back after a layup by Armani Collins with 12:50 left in the first half. Isaiah Bailey secured the 12-point first half lead by hitting a step back three and BCU went to the locker room with a 41-29 advantage.
Miryne Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio) and Colen Gaynor (Berlin, Maryland) started the second half strong for Eastern Shore, scoring the first six points on layups. The Hawks fell back to 11 points down but fought back to 51-46 thanks to a Tyler Jones (Atlantic City, New Jersey) jumper with 14:39 left.
Gaynor found Logan McIntosh (Atlanta, Georgia) on the fastbreak for a layup after the Wildcats scored, then McIntosh made two free throws to bring it to 55-52. Soufiyane Diakite made one-of-two free throws for BCU, then Thomas brought it to 56-54 with a lane jumper with 11:05 to go.
The Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run that began with a Shawntrez Davis three on the next possession to bring the lead to 67-56. Eastern Shore never made it back within nine and in the final minute Bethune-Cookman went up 21.
Thomas dropped a career-high 21 points on 7-of-12 field goal shooting and 7-of-8 free-throw shooting. Jones netted 21 as well on 9-of-12 shooting.
Bailey lead all scorers with 24 points and added six rebounds and seven assists. Davis finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Brandon Tabb scored 16 points with five assists.
The Hawks 50 percent shooting in the second half was not enough to keep up with the potent BCU attack. The Wildcats ended with assists on 25 of the 31 made field goals for the day.
This was the first double digit margin for the teams since the 2011-12 season. This is just the Hawks’ second loss by more than 10 points in conference play this season.
Eastern Shore faces Howard in Burr Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Monday to continue their road trip. The game can be heard locally on Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Will DeBoer will call the game for The Shore Sports Network, with pregame coverage beginning at 7:15.