The snowstorm that has taken control over the East Coast of the United States caused the game between the visiting Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the host Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks to be be pushed up to 2:30pm EST. It was a crucial game for both teams in terms of the MEAC title race, and the fans who made it to Hytche Arena were treated to a contest that came right down to the wire.
Both the Wildcats and the Hawks held sizeable leads in the second half, but neither were able to hold onto things. Back and forth the teams went, setting up for an exciting finish to the game.
In close games, stars are supposed to step up. For the hometown Hawks, Devin Martin answered the call in the final minute to send the home crowd home happy.
With 29 seconds left on the clock in the second half, Martin hit a jumper to put the Hawks in front 74-72. The Wildcats had time for one last shot, but Jordan Potts’ three pointer fell short, and the Hawks came away with the 74-72 victory on Take a Kid to the Game Day.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with the Hawks taking a slim 34-33 lead into the break. But, it was the second half where things started to get exciting.
With the Hawks in front by a score of 46-43, the Wildcats reeled off an 11-0 run to take a 54-46 lead of their own. Diamante Lewis connected on a three-pointer to cap the run with under 12 minutes to play in the game.
As was the case for the game as a whole, back and forth the teams would go, and the Hawks launched a comeback. Dominique Elliott put the team on his back, and brought the Hawks all the way back, tying the game at 57-all.
Shortly thereafter, a layup from Elliott gave the Hawks a four-point lead with under 4 minutes in the game.
The Wildcats could continue to fight and would bring themselves back to the tie game at 72-all. Lewis hit a pair of free throws to put the Wildcats even with the Hawks, and the crowd in attendance was in for an exciting finish.
With the ball in his hands, and the game on the line, Martin hit a jumper for the Hawks with 29 seconds left on the clock. The Wildcats still had a chance to come away with a win, and waited until the end to take their final shot.
They got the ball to Potts, who is one of their better shooters, and he launched a three pointer that would have won the game for the visitors. It didn’t go, and the Hawks let out a collective sigh of relief.
It came down to the wire, but the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks found the win column once again, scoring a 74-72 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in MEAC action.
Only five players found the scoreboard for the Wildcats. The usual suspects led the way, including Mario Moody and Jordan Potts. Moody scored a game-high 20 points and collected 9 rebounds, while Potts added 19 points and 7 assists of his own.
Diamante Lewis added 17 points, Ricky Johnson added 14 points, and LaRon Smith rounded out the scoring for the WIldcats with 2 points of his own.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Hawks on the night. Elliott recorded a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way, notching his second double-double over his last three games.
Martin added 11 points, none bigger than the two he got to send the Hawks to the win. Bakari Copeland and Derrico Peck had 10 points apiece in the victory.
The loss pushed the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (6-14, 3-3) back to .500 in conference play. They had a great chance to score a big conference road win, but a last-second jumper fell just short. The Wildcats will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday night, when they head on the road to take on the Howard Bison.
With the win, the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (5-16, 2-4) put an end to their mini two-game losing streak. It also got them a much-needed conference win, and gives them some positive momentum to build off of. They will look to make it two-straight wins on Monday night, when they welcome the Florida A&M Rattlers to town.