Hawks hope to soar past Wildcats

Nov 17, 2014 - 3:49 PM Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - After barely surviving the season opener, the Villanova Wildcats will try to put forth a more convincing effort on Monday when they host the MD-Eastern Shore Hawks in a non-conference bout as part of the Legends Classic.

This is part of a lengthy road trip to start the season for UMES, which plays seven of its first eight games outside the state of Maryland. The season began on Friday at Virginia Tech. That contest ended with a 71-46 loss for the Hawks, who have had less than 10 wins in 11 of the past 12 seasons. They visit another ranked opponent in VCU next.

Although Villanova eventually pulled away for a 77-66 victory over Lehigh in its season opener, the win did not come easily. The Wildcats were actually trailing with just under 12 minutes to play before going on a 17-5 run, which put them ahead for good. Villanova, which won 29 games last season and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, also faces VCU next, doing so in Brooklyn next Monday.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs.

Offensive struggles doomed UMES in its matchup with Virginia Tech. The Hawks had only 13 field goals in the contest, while shooting a ghastly 27.7 percent from the floor overall. They also turned the ball over 15 times, while forcing only six from the Hokies. One bright spot in the loss was the team's effort on the glass, as UMES owned a 35-33 edge in rebounds.

Ryan Andino was the only player to score in double figures for the Hawks in the losing effort. He knocked down 3-of-9 shots from beyond the arc and a pair of shots at the free-throw line to record 11 points in just 16 minutes off the bench. Devin Martin hoisted up 14 shots, but made good on only four of them, including a 1-of-8 showing from 3-point range. He finished with nine points before fouling out. Michael Myers also had nine points, while contributing 10 rebounds and three assists as well. Isaac Smith handed out four assists, but negated those with five turnovers.

An uneven first half hurt Villanova tremendously against Lehigh. The Wildcats took 40 shots in the first 20 minutes, while the Mountain Hawks had only 27. However, while the Wildcats connected on just 30 percent of those shots, Lehigh had a 51.9 percent success rate. Villanova cleaned it up in the second half, improving to 48.4 percent.

Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono both struggled to find their stroke on Friday. Hilliard connected on only 4-of-18 shots from the floor, including a miserable 1-of-9 showing from 3-point range. He finished with 10 points, while posting four assists and four steals as well. Arcidiacono had 16 points and five assists, but he hit just 4-of-14 field goal attempts, including a 1-of-7 effort from beyond the arc. Dylan Ennis was actually the leading scorer, topping out at 19 points, although he drained just 6-of-14 field goal tries. JayVaughn Pinkston managed 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes.

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