HAMPTON, Va. — For the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, the 2016-17 season has had its fair share of ups and downs.
The season started out with seven straight losses, and they didn’t get their first win over a Division I school until December 21st against the UTEP Miners. That started a three-game winning streak, and the Hawks would replicate that once more in MEAC play.
Now, coming into Wednesday’s tilt against the Hampton Pirates, the Hawks saw their three-game winning streak end in their last outing. They fell to the Savannah State Tigers at home by five, 87-82.
On the flip side, the Pirates came into Wednesday having won their last outing, a 77-65 decision over the Coppin State Eagles that ended their three-game losing skid.
Both the Pirates and Hawks came into the game at 4-3 overall in MEAC play, so it was bound to be a tight contest right down to the wire.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Hampton took a 66-65 lead with 27 seconds left, but the Hawks still had two chances to win the game. After a pair of missed free throws from the Pirates, the Hawks put up one last shot at the buzzer.
It was off the mark, and Hampton escaped with a 66-65 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
With 33 seconds to play on the night, the Hawks took a slim 65-64 lead after Logan McIntosh got a floater to fall. To keep up with the trend of the second half, the Pirates retook a lead of their own just moments later.
Trevond Barnes hit a jumper to put the Pirates ahead by one, 66-65, with just over 20 seconds to play. The Hawks still had a chance to win the contest, but things got a little interesting.
On the next trip down the floor, Bakari Copeland got whistled for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to Hampton with 17 seconds to play.
Then, on the inbound play, Thomas Rivera was pushed off, and the Pirates were whistled for a foul. So, the Hawks were given another shot at taking home the victory.
McIntosh missed a jumper with 5 seconds left on the clock, and Hampton secured the rebound. After the Hawks fouled, the Pirates proceeded to miss both free throw attempts, and the Hawks were still alive.
Eastern Shore put up a last-second shot before the buzzer, but it was off the mark. Despite the several opportunities in the closing minute, Maryland-Eastern Shore was unable to come away with the victory.
The Pirates made their fans sweat a bit, but were able to hold down their home court and come away with the 66-65 victory over the Hawks.
Bakari Copeland led the way for the visitors, scoring a team-high 17 points to go along with 5 rebounds. Isaac Taylor scored a career-high 15 points in 24 minutes of action.
All five starters for the Hawks scored at least 8 points.
Jermaine Marrow scored a game-high 20 points for the Pirates, going 3-of-6 from three point range in the win. Trevond Barnes chipped in with 10 points, none bigger than his jumper in the closing seconds that ultimately gave Hampton the win.
After a three-game winning streak, the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks (7-16, 4-4) have dropped back-to-back contests. They will look to get back on the right track on Saturday when they take on the Coppin State Eagles.
On the flip side, the Hampton Pirates (8-13, 5-3) have won back-to-back games after their three game skid. They will go for their third straight victory on Saturday when they face the Savannah State Tigers.
– T. Bennett