On a night where the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks honoured their seniors for all of the time and effort that they put into their time with the program, one of their biggest contributors put together a strong performance on both ends of the floor to make sure the Hawks came away with a win.
With fellow senior Devin Martin out of the lineup, it was big man Dominique Elliott who came ready to play on Saturday afternoon.
With the MEAC Tournament just around the corner, the Hawks welcomed the Delaware State Hornets to town as they looked to snap a five-game losing streak. In their first meeting of the season, the Hornets edged the Hawks, 75-71, behind 24 points off the bench from DeAndre Hayward.
The Hawks were looking for some retribution against their conference foes, while a win would do wonders for either team in the log jam that has developed in the MEAC standings.
When all was said and done, the Hawks used a strong first half to propel themselves to the 74-65 victory over the Hornets.
Much like in the first meeting between the two, the Hawks took a sizeable lead into the locker room after the first half. Maryland-Eastern Shore held a 41-32 advantage after the first 20 minutes, but the Hornets were far from done on the day.
To open the second half, Devin Morgan, Jr. hit a three pointer, and Haywood followed that up with a layup of his own, and the Hornets were quickly back to within 4, at 41-37, with plenty of time left on the clock.
Delaware State would cut the deficit to 3 just before the halfway point of the second stanza, but the Hawks put an end to their comeback efforts. Elliott threw down consecutive dunks, and junior guard Thomas Rivera connected on a three pointer to help push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points.
From there, Delaware State was never able to put together a serious challenge, allowing the Hawks to send their home crowd happy and give their seniors one last taste of victory inside Hytche Arena.
When all was said and done, the teams were even in the second half, and the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks put an end to their losing streak with a 74-65 victory over the visiting Delaware State Hornets.
Freshman sensation Devin Morgan, Jr. led the way once again for the Delaware State Hornet. He scored a team-high 20 points on the afternoon, shooting 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-7 from three point range. DeAndre Haywood chipped in with 16 points in the loss.
Devin Morgan, Jr. is up for the CCR Mid-Major Freshman of the Year award! Fan voting opens on Monday, February 29th, and can be found right here.
Four different players scored in double-figures for the Hawks, propelling the team to victory. Forward Dominique Elliott put together one more impressive performance for the hometown crowd, scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Ryan Andino and Derrico Peck chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Thomas Rivera came off the bench to record 14 points and 3 assists in the win.
The loss was the second straight defeat for the Delaware State Hornets (7-22, 5-9). They are a part of the log jam in the bottom half of the MEAC standings, as just 2.5 games separate 6th place from 13th. Delaware State will look to play the role of spoiler in their next outing, when they head on the road to take on the Hampton Pirates on Monday night.
With the win, the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (9-21, 6-9) put an end to their woes and put themselves in a better position heading into the MEAC tournament. Currently, they are in a 3-way tie for 8th spot in the standings. They close out the regular season on Thursday night with a road game against one of the teams they are currently tied for 8th with, the Morgan State Bears.