|UMES Uses Free Throw Shooting To Get By Norfolk State||< All News|
|Monday, March 10, 2014|
NORFOLK, Va.—TeAmber Brooks scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and Shawnee Sweeney added eight after intermission, but it was some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch that helped Maryland Eastern Shore come from behind to register a 70-66 win over Norfolk State in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at the Norfolk Scope.
The Lady Hawks (9-20), the Number 11 seed, will take on Coppin State in the quarterfinal round on Thursday at 12 noon.
Norfolk State (12-16), the Number 6 seed, extended a 29-27 halftime lead to 45-32 at the 15:28 mark on the scoring of reserve guard Rae Corbo and Koryn Lawrence, who combined for 30 of Norfolk State’s 37 points.
But the Lady Hawks began to cut into the lead. But each time, they would get it to a workable margin, Norfolk State would come up with an answer. Then Alexis Udoji came up big. She scored on a drive to the basket to give Maryland Eastern Shore a 65-64 lead with 54 seconds remaining. Then Burke converted two free throws to up the lead to 67-64 with 38 seconds left. Rachel Gordon of Norfolk State scored to make it 67-66 with 23 ticks left on the clock.
From there, the Lady Hawks defense and some deft free throw shooting from Jessica Long and Udoji helped close out the game and send Maryland Eastern Shore into the next round.
“Our team has struggled this year and haven’t played well enough to win more times than not,” said UMES Coach Fred Batchelor. “The team is an anomaly to me. Sometimes we show mental toughness and character and sometimes we struggle as you saw today. We missed a lot of free throws early on, but down the stretch we made them. To end the game like that shows a lot of character.”
Corbo led all scorers with 24 while Lawrence tallied 14. The Lady Spartans held a 39-22 bench advantage and 36-24 in the paint, but Maryland Eastern Shore offset that with a 12-3 advantage in second chance opportunities and 16 points off Norfolk State turnovers.
“Well, the problem was that we weren’t defending as we needed to and came down and weren’t scoring,” said Norfolk State head coach Debra Clark. “We were careless with the ball and they capitalized on the mistakes.”
Sweeney led the Lady Hawks with 18, Burke with 17 and Ashleigh Claybrooks with 13 off the bench.
“They’re (Coppin State) tough and physical,” noted Batchelor of his upcoming matchup. “This is an opportunity for us to play against a team that we have a lot of respect for.”