Men's Basketball Wins Home Opener, 70-52; Coach Aki Thomas Posts First Collegiate Victory
Freshman Malik Garner scored 10 points and added 8 rebounds in his home debut.
BALTIMORE- UMBC senior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) led a balanced effort with 14 points as the Retrievers got the home slate off to a good start with a 70-52 victory over Eastern (Pa.) before 1,719 at the RAC Arena.
Junior center Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) and freshman forward Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy) added 10 points apiece for UMBC, and Garner tied Cook for team-high rebounding honors with eight.
Three Eagles scored nine points each- junior guard Ben Connor, junior forward Jimmie Willis and freshman guard Malcolm Garrison. Willis earned game-high rebounding honors with nine.
UMBC, which lost a narrow 80-75 decision at Penn on Friday, evened its record at 1-1, while it was the first game of the season for Eastern.
The Retrievers never trailed, although Eastern was within 10-9 seven minutes into the game. Sparked by a alley-oop thunderous dunk by Roseboro, the hosts went on a 13-2 run and took control, 23-11, with 7:35 to play in the stanza.
UMBC led, 34-22, at the break, but Eastern stayed within range early in the second half, trailing just 41-31 at the 17:37 mark. But the Retrievers turned Eastern over twice en route to a 9-0 surge and led, 50-31, with 14:49 to play.
UMBC’s largest lead was at 23 points at 58-35 with 11:08 remaining.
Freshman guard Aaron Morgan (Washington, Pa./Council Rock North) led the Retrievers with 28 minutes played.
The Retrievers hit 14 of 28 shots in the first half, but tailed off and finished at 43.9 percent (29-of-66) for the game. Eastern converted 16-of-46 shots (34.8%), but hit nine more free throws (17-9) than did the hosts.
UMBC faces cross-town rival Loyola (Md.) at Reitz Arena on Wednesday. The tip-off time is 9:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live by MASN.