Visits to the state of Michigan haven’t been to kind to the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks over the past two seasons.
Last year, the Hawks took on the then-top ranked Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing. In the end, the Hawks suffered a 78-35 loss to the high-powered Spartans.
This season, the Hawks returned back to Michigan, in the midst of a six-game road swing. While their opponent was different this time around, they still took on the high-powered offense of the Michigan Wolverines.
The only blunder for the Wolverines came at the start of the game, when the starting lineups were announced. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman was ready to assume his regular spot in the starting five for the Wolverines, but a bookkeeping error kept him out of the starting lineup.
Head coach John Beilein was unsure of how the error occurred, but the Wolverines were just fine in the long run.
Michigan exploded out of the gate, posting an early 19-2 lead while shooting 80% from the field to open the contest. The Hawks could never recover, and Michigan cruised to the 98-49 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday afternoon.
After the lineup blunder to open the game, Abdur-Rahkman was subbed into the game for Duncan Robinson after just 46 seconds. He would go onto record 7 points and a game-high 10 assists in the Wolverines’ victory.
Michigan made their first seven shots of the game, and a layup from Zak Irvin pushed the Wolverines’ lead to 35-13 with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half. While Michigan fell off their hot shooting start, they took a 49-22 lead into halftime.
The second half was more of the same, as the Wolverines outscored the Hawks 49-27. For the second straight game, Michigan set a new season-high for points in a game.
In their last time out, they scored 97 points in their win over the Central Arkansas Bears.
Eastern Shore head coach Bobby Collins had some high praise for the Wolverines in his post-game interview.
“They shot lights out,” Collins said. “That’s a good team. When they’re hitting like that, I think they’re going to beat a lot of teams.”
The Wolverines shot 65.4% (34-of-52) from the field, and 57.1% (12-of-21) from the field in the win, while the Hawks were held to just 32.8% (19-of-58) shooting.
Four players for the Wolverines scored in double-figures, led by a game-high 21 points from Derrick Walton, Jr. Forward D.J. Wilson chipped in with 16 points, while going 6-of-7 from the field.
In just 21 minutes of action, Duncan Robinson scored 17 points and added 3 rebounds.
Bakari Copeland and Ryan Andino once again led the way for the Hawks. Copeland scored a team-high 15 points to go along with 5 rebounds, while Andino finished with 11 points, while going 3-of-9 from three point range.
The Hawks were outrebounded by the Wolverines on the afternoon, 35-26.
With the win, the Michigan Wolverines (9-3, 0-0) have now won two straight after their loss to the UCLA Bruins. Michigan returns to the court on December 22nd to take on the Furman Paladins in Ann Arbor, MI.
On the flip side, the loss was the third straight defeat for the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (1-10, 0-0) after their first win of the year over Central Penn College. The Hawks will try once again for their second win of the year on Monday, as their road trip continues with a date against the American Univ. Eagles.
– T. Bennett