PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team fell to Norfolk State 74-63 on Saturday in their first home game in nearly three weeks, failing to come back on Homecoming Saturday at the Hytche Athletic Center.
“Tonight we got beat on second chance opportunities. We allowed them too many extra chances, and they got some easy baskets off of that,” said Hawks Head Coach Bobby Collins.“My hat goes off to [Spartans Head Coach Robert Jones]. He did a very good job of having his team prepared, but we just didn’t get it done, especially as far as rebounding.”
Stavian Allen hit two free throws for the the Spartans (12-17, 10-4 MEAC) to give them a 31-20 lead with 3:58 left in the first half. Ahmad Frost (Cincinnati, Oh.) responded with a three pointer at the end of the shot clock for the Hawks (6-24, 2-13 MEAC). UMES cut the lead to 31-26 after a Cameron Bacote (Hampton, Va.) three on the next possession. Colen Gaynor (Berlin, Md.) finished the half for the Eastern Shore on a three from the corner, bringing the score to 33-30 in favor of NSU at the break.
The Shore began the second half on a Tyler Jones (Atlantic City, N.J.) layup to cut the lead to one, but Norfolk State responded with consecutive layups from Preston Bungei to go up 37-32 with 17:58 left. Over the following seven minutes, the Spartans lead between two and six points. With the Hawks down 52-47, Jones converted a three-point play in the paint to bring the Hawks within two. Dan Robinson responded with a two for NSU, but Frost hit a three for the Eastern Shore to make the count 54-53 with 9:59 remaining.
The Spartans went on an 8-1 run that was kicked off by a Derrik Jamerson, Jr. three that all but sealed the game for Norfolk State. NSU’s 62-54 lead was pushed to 67-57 and the Hawks were unable to respond with a late rally.
The Hawks were lead by Jones who scored 21 points, notching his second straight 21-point game and his fifth 20-point game of the season. Jones, a sophomore, went 8-of-17 for field goals with 8-of-12 shooting inside the three point line, plus securing four rebounds to earn the Jesse T. Williams Award for the top Homecoming performance of the year.
Bacote added 10 points for the Hawks, with Logan McIntosh (Atlanta, Georgia) and Frost each scoring eight points and combining for 13 assists.
The Spartans were lead by Bungei who scored 18 points on 8-of 12 shooting. Off the bench, Steven Whitley came in to score 14 points while adding eight rebounds and seven assists.
UMES will close out their home schedule with senior night against Delaware State Monday. Tip off at the Hytche Center is set for 7:30 p.m. The game Monday can be heard locally on Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Will DeBoer and Dave Byrd will begin pregame coverage at 7:15 p.m. for The Shore Sports Network.