Courtesy of UMES Athletics
PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland — In their first action of 2020, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore men’s basketball team grabbed a 78-66 conference win on Saturday night (Jan. 4) over the Howard University Bison inside the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.
Saturday’s victory was the first win for head coach Jason Crafton over a Division I opponent. The Hawks first win of the season was against Division III Clarks Summit.
“This game was a testament to the guys sticking together after a tough stretch to start the season,” Crafton said. “They found a way to put 40 minutes together of playing with toughness and executing our game plan.”
Howard jumped out to a 15-4 lead seven minutes into the first half. The Hawks responded with an 11-0 over the next three minutes that was capped by a pair of free throws from redshirt sophomore Walter Prevost (Houston, Texas) to tie the game.
The Bison held a 21-15 lead with 6:55 remaining in the half. Eastern Shore came back with a 16-0 run to take a 31-21 advantage. The Shore would use that run to help them go into halftime up 36-28.
HU opened the second half with new energy as they outscored the Hawks 15-4 in the first six minutes of the frame. The lead would change hands a few times over the next few minutes until senior AJ Cheeseman (Snellville, Georgia) hit a pair of free throws at the 12:14 mark to give the team a 49-48 lead that they would not surrender for the remainder of the game.
“AJ is a veteran guy that has experienced MEAC play before and regardless of his ups and down this season, I believe in him,” Crafton said. “He did a good job of fighting tonight and he had a big night for us.”
Junior Ty Gibson (Brooklyn, New York) also was in double figures for the Hawks as he had 14 points. The Hawks had a season high 17 assists as a team as redshirt senior Ahmad Frost (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the team with four dimes and no turnovers.