Jan. 6, 2018
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -
Ahmad Frost (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 23 of his career-high 33 points in the first half to lead Maryland Eastern Shore men's basketball past Hampton 92-83 on Saturday afternoon at the Hytche Center.
"If you were to tell me we were going to play 92 points," said Hawks head coach Bobby Collins with a chuckle after his team's complete win. "We've been playing well at home. The other team made a run, but we were able to knock down the important free throws and make the important baskets. I'm glad to see this team has some fight."
Frost finished the game 10-of-15 from the floor, 7-of-9 from deep, and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line. He becomes the first Hawk to crack 30 points since Ryan Andino (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) went for 31 on Jan. 9, 2017 at North Carolina A&T.
After a back-and-forth first 10 minutes the Hawks (5-12, 1-1) found themselves down 23-22. Frost proceeded to pop up from the deep right wing and drained his third trey of the half to put his team back up. After Malique Trent-Street answered with a three of his own for the Pirates (5-11, 0-1), Frost again connected from the same spot, giving the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish. On the ensuing possession it was again Frost who made it rain from deep, putting Eastern Shore up 31-26 with his third straight three-pointer.
With 15 seconds before the break and the Hawks leading 44-40, Frost took a feed from Logan McIntosh (Atlanta, Georgia) and nailed a straightaway three, drawing a foul in the process. He sunk the free throw and doubled The Shore's lead with his second four-point play in as many games. After a Hampton free throw at the other end, Colen Gaynor (Berlin, Maryland) tipped back a missed three at the buzzer, putting the home side up 50-41 at the break.
Frost blew by his old career high of 19 points easily in the first half, making his first seven shots of the game and shooting 8-of-9 in the opening session.
The Pirates fell by as many as 19 in the second half but threatened to spoil the day in Princess Anne late. After a pair of Trent-Street free throws, Charles Wilson-Fisher stole the inbounds pass for an easy layup. The senior leader immediately reached out and stole another, this time laying it in and drawing a foul for a three-point play. Wilson-Fisher's de facto five-point play got Hampton back to within 76-70 with 7:53 remaining.
The Shore kept their visitors at an arm's length for the rest of the way, though. In a 81-75 game at the 5:35 mark, Tyler Jones (Atlantic City, New Jersey) stepped out for a three to make it 84-75. The Hawks took a couple of key charges late, and a pair of post buckets by Miryne Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio) built the Hawk lead to 90-79, effectively sealing the deal with 2:49 to play.
"Those two charges definitely were the difference in the game," said Collins. "They stopped driving the basketball at that point. That was the same thing Central Penn and Morgan State did to get back in the game, and tonight Hampton tried it and we were ready for it."
Jones continued his dominance of all things Hampton, tying a career high with 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting and hauling in nine rebounds to boot. The sophomore hung 23 points on the Pirates in last season's MEAC Tournament quarterfinals, a 68-66 Eastern Shore win.
"Tyler Jones must be excited whenever he sees Hampton colors," said Collins of his Pirate killer. "I'm just going to tell him every game, 'Hey, that's blue out there!'"
Miryne Thomas once again narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 16 points and nine boards in 26 minutes before fouling out late. McIntosh dished out a season-high nine assists.
All-MEAC guard Jermaine Marrow led the Pirates with 19 points but was largely quiet in the second half. Wilson-Fisher finished with 16 and seven rebounds, while Trent-Street finished with a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists.
The Hawks shot a scintillating 59.4 percent (19-for-32) in the first half, finishing the game at a 50.8 (31-for-61) clip. Through two games in conference play the team is connecting on 50 percent of its field goal attempts.
Eastern Shore led for 36:18 of the game and only trailed for 47 seconds in the first half. The Hawks remain undefeated at home through four games in the friendly confines of the Hytche Center.
The game marks a temporary end to the rivalry between the two schools. Hampton is set to join the Big South Conference on July 1.
Eastern Shore goes for their fifth straight home win on Monday night against Bethune-Cookman. Tip from the Hytche Athletic Center is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday's game will be broadcast locally on flagship radio station Fox Sports 960 AM WTGM and online at EasternShoreHawks.com. Pregame coverage starts at 7:15 p.m. with Will DeBoer and Dave Byrd on the call for The Shore Sports Network.