To say the least, the start of the 2016-17 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks.
They entered Sunday’s action riding a five-game losing streak to open the season, and are in the midst of a five-game road swing that takes them to the end of November. The Hawks opened up the road swing with double-digit losses to the Boston College Eagles, the Wichita State Shockers, and the Colorado State Rams.
On Sunday, the road trip didn’t get any easier, as they made the trip down to Ruston, LA for a date with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
In the first half, the Hawks hung with the Bulldogs. However, in the second half, Louisiana Tech pulled away and put the game out of reach.
Hot shooting was the difference in the second half, as the Bulldogs shot 60% from the field, en route to the 74-53 win over the visiting Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks.
At halftime, the Hawks were still within striking distance of the Bulldogs, trailing by just five after the opening 20 minutes, at 31-26.
Early in the second half, the Hawks were able to cut the deficit down to two points with over 17 minutes to play, but they were never able to take a lead of their own.
With 14:38 to play, Jacobi Boykins hit a three pointer to give the Bulldogs a 46-38 lead. That three pointer kicked off a 13-3 run for Louisiana Tech, one that gave them a commanding 56-41 lead when it was all said and done.
The rest of the way, the Hawks wouldn’t get to within single digits.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 60% in the second half, and pulled away from the Hawks for the 74-53 win on Sunday afternoon.
Bakari Copeland led the way for Maryland-Eastern Shore, scoring a team-high 14 points in the loss. Ryan Andino added 9 points, while Dontae Caldwell chipped in with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
For the Bulldogs, a career-high 26 points from Jacobi Boykins led the way. He finished the game with 6 three pointers, and went 8-of-11 from the floor on the day. Erik McCree added 18 points and 9 rebounds of his own in the win.
The loss was the sixth straight to open the season for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (0-6, 0-0). They will try once again for their first win on Wednesday night when they take on the Southeastern Louisiana Lions to close out their five-game road trip.
With the win, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-2, 0-0) moved back above .500 to open the year. They will look to continue their positive momentum on Wednesday night when they visit the California Golden Bears.
– T. Bennett