PRINCESS ANNE, Md.–For the second consecutive year the Morgan State Lady Bears women’s basketball team served as homecoming opponent for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Lady Hawks and for the second consecutive season the UMES faithful were able to celebrate with a victory. This time it was a 54-50 comeback win over the Lady Bears in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Feb. 16 at the Hytche Athletic Center.

The Lady Bears held their largest lead of the day at 11 points (41-30) following a layup by freshman forward Dinah Jones with 13:43 to play, but the hosts would close out the game on a 24-9 run for the victory.

After the layup by Jones, the Lady Hawks would limit Morgan State to only two free throws by sophomore guard Chyress Lockhart and without a field goal for the next four minutes before Lockhart extended the guests lead to 45-39 with 9:41 remaining.

UMES, in the midst of a 21-6 run over 12 and a half minutes, took a 48-47 lead with 2:10 left, following a three-point basket from the right wing by sophomore guard Shawnee Sweeny. Sweeny’s basket would give the Lady Hawks their first lead of the game since holding a 5-4 advantage with 15:33 to play in the first half.

The Lady Hawks would extend their lead to 51-47 after a put-back basket by freshman forward Ashleigh Claybrooks with 24 seconds left.

Morgan senior guard Bianca Jarrett (seven points) would connect on her only field goal of the game and first in two games, a three-pointer from the top of the key with 17.6 seconds remaining, ending the hosts run and bringing the Lady Bears within one point, 51-50.

After Sweeney added a successful free throw, Jarrett was called for a charge and fouled out with 6.1 seconds to play. Senior forward/guard Karona Roach would later add two free throws for the Lady Hawks for the final score.

Morgan State (8-17, 5-7 MEAC) was led by Lockhart, who finished with a game-high 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Junior guard Whitney Southerland came off the bench to score nine points and freshman center Sabrina Montgomery tallied eight rebounds.

Claybrooks scored a team-high 14 points and added eight rebounds, also a team-high, to lead the Lady Hawks.

The win was the third straight for UMES over Morgan State and ended a two-game losing skid for the Lady Hawks (7-14, 3-7 MEAC), who have won just two of their last eight games.

Kevin Paige

Special to the AFRO