ORANGEBURG, S.C.- In their 50th meeting, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore womens basketball team dropped their conference opener to the Lady Bulldogs of South Carolina State University, 63-50. With the loss, the Lady Hawks fell to 3-9 overall (0-1 MEAC) whereas SC State improved to 2-8 (1-0 MEAC) on the season.
Jessica Long (Fort Washington, Md.) paced the Hawk attack with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Senior Breonna Evans (Melfa, Va.) recorded a career-high eight points, including two triples, while Ashleigh Claybrooks (Manassas, Va.) finished with seven points and 10 boards in a losing effort.
UMES scored the first bucket of the second half on an offensive put back from senior Shanyce Stewart (Mount Vernon, N.Y.), 27-23, but the Lady Bulldogs controlled the tempo as they went on a 12-4 run with less than 11 minutes in regulation, 39-25. Within the next seven minutes, the Lady Hawks climbed back into the game after back-to-back free-throws by Shawnee Sweeney (Chester, Va.) to cut the deficit to single-digits, 49-40.
SC State withstood UMES' late surge as they finished the contest hitting their free-throws down the stretch to win, 63-50. Other notable Hawk performances included Stewart recording her 12th career 10+ rebound game with a game-high 18 boards. With her efforts, she surpasses Adobi Agbasi with the second-most 10+ rebound performances since the 2005-06 season, trailing only April McBride (39).
In the first five minutes, South Carolina State opened the game on a 6-0 run until baskets from Long and Alexis Udoji (Randolph, Mass.) ended UMES scoring drought, 6-4. Within the next eight minutes, the Lady Bulldogs extended their lead as they went on a 16-7 run to take a commanding 11-point lead, 22-11, with more than seven minutes before halftime. The Lady Hawks made a late charge to cut the deficit to five points, 22-17, after back-to-back free-throws from Long with over four to play in the half. With less than a minute before halftime, UMES trailed by eight points, 27-19, until a layup from Long with only 37 ticks made the halftime score, 27-21.
For SC State, four Lady Bulldogs registered double-digit points, led by Kourtney Williams tallying 15 points while Cherisha Floyd and Lynasia Frazier each had 10 points. DayShaun Richbow chipped in 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the victory.
Up next, the Lady Hawks conclude their seven-game road trip as they face the Lady Tigers of Savannah State University inside Tiger Arena. Tip-off is 6 p.m.