Hawks Welcome Wildcats for Conference Showdown
Bethune-Cookman may still see the haunting image of the go-ahead finger roll layup provided by Logan McIntosh with 59 seconds remaining in the game.
McIntosh capped off a University of Maryland Eastern Shore run to help the Hawks battle back from a 14 point deficit back on Jan. 21. The Hawks went on to win the game 82-79 and broke the hearts of Wildcat fans in Daytona Beach, Florida.
This time the Wildcats will look for revenge when the two teams meet again Monday in Princess Anne.
Both teams have had their ups and downs since that last meeting back in January. The Wildcats (5-19) have dropped four out of their last five contests, while the Hawks (8-17) have gone 3-3 in their last six.
The Wildcats are 11th in the MEAC despite averaging 14.3 assists per game, 7.8 steals per game and leading the MEAC in turnover margin with a +2.41 differential. Junior guard Brandon Tabb has led Bethune all season with his MEAC third ranking 18.8 points per game.
In the previous matchup, the Hawks defense was able to hold Tabb to just 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
UMES senior forward Bakari Copeland is still leading the way for the Hawks, averaging a team high 16.7 points per game and 19 points per game in league play. Copeland has been efficient shooting 47% from the field and posting double digit points in 13 straight contests.
Copeland led the Hawks in the first meeting versus the Wildcats with a double-double 24 points and 10 rebounds. Wildcat guard Reggie Baker led all scorers with 27 points connecting on 12 of his 21 shots.
Field goal percentage in the second half turned out to be the difference for the Hawks, who shot a scorching 69.5 percent from the field and 80 percent from three. Bethune shot a respectable 42.3 percent from the field in the game but struggled from the three point line going 6 for 26.
In desperate need of a win, both teams are coming into Monday’s contest well under .500 and are trying to climb back in the MEAC standings.
Monday’s game will be the first of a three-game home stand for UMES, which bodes well for the Hawks who have a winning record at home.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.