NORFOLK, Va. — Te’Amber Burke came off the bench to score 15 of her 18 points in the first half and Moengarao Subritzky tallied 14 of her 16 points in the second half to help the Maryland Eastern Shore pull away to a 67-47 win over North Carolina Central in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament at the Norfolk Scope.
The Lady Hawks (12-16), the Number 8 seed, advance to the quarterfinal round against Hampton, the Number 1 seed, on Wednesday at 12 noon.
The Lady Eagles (7-22), the Number 9 seed, had upset on their minds early when they jumped out to an early 17-9 lead. Morgan Jones did most of the damage with three, three pointers.
Then UMES settled in and used its trapping full-court defense to rattle the Lady Eagles. It resulted in a 16-1 run over a seven-minute stretch to take the lead at 25-18 at the 4:39 mark. Burke was the catalyst, connecting on five of seven from the field. Jessica Long and Alexis Udoji scored six points each as UMES took a 30-21 lead to the locker room.
“They scored 12 quick points and we didn’t score after we scored the first basket of the game,” said Maryland Eastern Shore head coach Fred Batchelor. “We were able to come back and play a little better after the initial hit. That had a lot to do with North Carolina Central making shots and making plays. We were able to get back with Te’Amber’s play off the bench because her 15 points were the difference in the first half. That allowed us to get into our pressure which they had problems with.”
North Carolina Central aided the UMES cause by committing 14 turnovers that the Lady Hawks converted into 14 of their points.
In the second half, UMES extended its lead to 12 points as Subritkzky found range along with Mariah McCoy, who added all seven of her points after intermission. McCoy was part of the UMES bench that was part of the 32-9 advantage over their counterparts.
“When we started off, everyone was on the same page,” said North Carolina Centrals’ Khyra Conerly. We were finishing and converting. When we started turning the ball over, everything change. That was the difference in the game.”
The Lady Hawks scored most of their baskets following North Carolina Central turnovers en route to shooting 54 percent (13 of 24) in the second stanza.
For the game, the Lady Eagles committed 28 turnovers that resulted into 32 of their points.
North Carolina Central was led by Morgan Jones with and Khyra Conerly with 10.
Hampton rolled past Lady Hawks, 71-43, at Hampton on February 7 in the only meeting. There is concern that UMES will have to play the regular season champs in 24 hours.
“The biggest challenge is coming back in less than 24 hours and being ready to play,” said Batchelor. “We have to overcome the fatigue factor and be mentally tough. I don’t think it’s about Hampton; it’s about us.”