UMES Falls to Miss. State in Final Tuneup Before MEAC Play - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Falls to Miss. State in Final Tuneup Before MEAC Play

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STARKVILLE, Miss.- Junior KyRee Jones (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored a team-high 18 points to post his eighth game in double-digits this season, but it was not enough as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team fell to Mississippi State, 77-63, before 5,708 strong on Thursday night.

With the loss, UMES goes to 2-10, while Mississippi State ups its total to 10-3. For the second consecutive game, UMES put together a fantastic second-half offensive performance. The Hawks combined to post a 53-percent clip from the field in the period, but were unable to tame a Bulldog outfit that shot 55-percent itself. The teams each rebounded from a slow first half to tally 91 points in the final 20 minutes.

UMES'’ 43 points in the period was its second highest of the year. UMES and Mississippi State played to an even beat to open the game as the score was even through the 10 minutes of play. A jumper by Jones tied the score at 12-12 at the 8:59 mark, before the Bulldogs used six points by Gavin Ware to go an 8-0 run across the next three minutes. UMES responded by scoring six of the games next eight points to bring the score to within 22- 19 with 3:24 left, but Mississippi State closed the first-half on a 7-2 run.

The Bulldogs held a 29- 20 lead at intermission as they outrebounded the Hawks, 25-17. UMES shot just 1-for-13 from long range. Mississippi State scored 16 of the first 25 points of the second half to race out to a 45-27 lead at the 14:48 mark. UMES countered with a 9-3 push of its own to bring the score within 12, but no drastic change in score was seen until nearly 10 minutes later. Freshman Devon Walker (Philadelphia, Pa.) would tally five straight points to bring the score to within 10, 68-58, with 4:15 left.

UMES would continue to fight as the men dropped the deficit to below 10 two times, but MSU proved to be too tough down the stretch. The Bulldogs closed the game in total control as they posted their 10th win of the year, a number equivalent to their win total from a season ago. The Hawks saw three players tally double-digit point totals. Jones complimented his 18 point effort with five assists and two boards, while junior Isaac Smith III (Chicago, Ill.) scored 15 points and dished out a game-high six assists. Walker was 3-for-4 from long-range and scored a career-high 11 points, all of which came in the second-half.

The Hawks rebounded from a 1-for- 13 clip from beyond the arc in the first-half with seven long-range makes in the second. Mississippi State was guided by Colin Borchert and Gavin Ware, who had 22 and 21 points, respectively. Ware notched his fifth double-double of the year with a 16 rebound effort. MSU dominated play from beyond the arc with a 40-percent clip, while holding a 43-29 advantage in rebounds.

The Hawks will take off three days before they open up MEAC play at Savannah State on Monday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. Last season, UMES lost two contests against SSU, including a 59-44 loss in the first-round of the MEAC Tournament.

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