To put it into simpler terms, the first half of the 2015-16 season was not how the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks had envisioned their year going. In comparison to last year’s team, it’s a black and white difference without any grey areas. The loss of star forward Michael Myers, Jr. has undoubtedly hurt the team, and they haven’t looked like themselves so far this season.
On Monday night, they kicked off the every day grind that is MEAC play, and essentially started a new season in the process. While they came in with an 0-2 record from two conference games back in December, the Hawks still have the opportunity to turn things around and get back into the conference race.
Their journey kicked off on Monday night inside Hytche Arena with a date against the Morgan State Bears. Despite playing catch-up for most of the game, the Hawks got hot at just the right time and were able to overcome the Bears down the stretch.
After a second half comeback, the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks landed their first conference win of the season by taking down the Morgan State Bears, 69-65.
The Hawks were unable to gain any form of sustained positive momentum until the last 7 minutes of the game. Cedric Blossom connected on a two-point jumper to stake the Bears to a 63-57 lead with under 7 to play in the game, but then Morgan State would go cold from the field.
Morgan State’s cold spell was the opening that the hometown Hawks needed to seize control of the game, and they took full advantage.
Eleven straight points by the Hawks pushed them ahead of the Bears, and a three-pointer from Devin Martin with just over 4 minutes to play gave the Hawks the lead for good in the game. Following Blossom’s jumper, the Bears missed their next five field goals to give the Hawks the perfect opportunity to move ahead.
Despite trailing 41-35 at the half, Maryland-Eastern Shore was able to fight their way back in the second half, and ultimately came away with the 69-65 win over the Morgan State Bears.
Blossom led the way for the Bears on Monday, going 8-of-11 from the field for a team-high 17 points. He made 33.3% of Morgan State’s field goals on the night (24-of-51).
Phillip Carr added 16 points and 4 rebounds, while Rasean Simpson added 13 points and 6 rebounds of his own.
As for the Hawks, they shot a dazzling 58.7% (27-of-46) as a team in the game, and their stars led the way once again. Devin Martin scored a game-high 21 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and he shot 7-of-10 from the floor.
Big man Dominigue Elliott went 6-of-9 from the floor for 14 points, and added 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Bakari Copeland shot 5-of-7 from the floor and finished the night with 11 points of his own.
After putting an end to their 9-game losing streak their last time out with a win over the Delaware State Hornets, the Morgan State Bears (3-13, 1-2) were unable to build off the momentum. Despite leading late into the second half, a cold spell at the wrong time put the writing on the wall for the Bears on Monday. Morgan State will look to bounce back on Saturday night when they head on the road to take on the Florida A&M Rattlers.
The win put an end to the four-game losing streak for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (4-14, 1-2), and pushed their home record to 3-1 on the year. If the Hawks could play inside Hytche Arena on every night, their record would be flipped. The Hawks will look to put their road demons to rest on Saturday night when they take on the Savannah State Tigers.