NORFOLK, Va., — No. 2 seed Maryland Eastern Shore overcame a slow start on Wednesday to defeat South Carolina State 57-34 in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Hawks (17-13) advance to Friday’s semifinal round, where they will face either Bethune-Cookman or Coppin State at 2 p.m.
Adrienne Jones came off the bench to lead the Hawks with 13 points, while First Team All-MEAC selection Ciani Byrom added 12 points to go along with a team-high five assists. Keyera Eaton grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
“I thought it was a tough game,” Hawks coach Fred Batchelor, the MEAC Coach of the Year, said. “We had to get the pretournament jitters out and I thought toward the end of the second quarter we kind of broke away and we were fortunate to make some plays that allowed us to breathe a little bit and then came out in the second half and have a big third quarter.”
The Hawks, who had not played since March 7, fell behind 9-0 in the opening minutes, not scoring until the 1:07 mark of the first quarter after a Chioma Nkpuechina layup. But that bucket kicked off a 12-0 run that saw Maryland Eastern Shore lead 12-9 with 8:04 left in the half after a Jones layup.
S.C. State responded with a 7-0 spurt, taking a 16-12 lead after a Jaquanna Murray jumper, but the Hawks closed the half with a 13-0 run and took a 25-16 lead into the break.
Byrom led all scorers with eight points at the half.
Eastern Shore outscored S.C. State 21-6 in the third quarter, opening up a 46-22 lead after a Dominique Walker jumper.
The Hawks’ largest lead came with 4:17 left to play when a Brooklyn Bailey jumper put them up 57-28.
Taylor Brown led South Carolina State (16-16) with 11 points and 14 rebounds.