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MEN'S BASKETBALL SNAPS THREE-GAME SLIDE; EDGES TOWSON, 64-56
Towson, MD--Sophomore forward John Zito scored a career-high 20 points and the Retriever bench sparked the Retrievers to a 64-56 win over Towson (2-5) in a non-conference match-up.
UMBC improved to 3-3 and snapped a three-game losing streak, while sending the Tigers to their fourth straight setback.
Both teams started sluggishly, as TU led, 11-9 with 10:36 to play in the first half. UMBC hit just 3 of its first 15 shots from the floor, but reserves Kareem Washington and Jerrell Dinkins sparked an 9-0 run to give the Retrievers an 18-11 advantage with 8:26 to play in the half. Washington scored 10 points in the final 9:55 of the half, and Dinkins added a pair of field goals and an assist as UMBC built the lead to 36-22 late in the stanza.
The Tigers cut the gap to 36-25 on a three-pointer by Mike Green (15 points) just before the halftime buzzer, and closed to within seven points at 48-41 with 7:50 to play. But Andrew Feeley hit two crucial free throws and Dinkins added a tap-in and a backdoor layup to restore the lead to eleven points at 54-43 at the 5:53 mark.
UMBC missed six free throws down the stretch and TU came to within six points at 62-56 on a Green three-pointer with 22.9 seconds to play. But Zito and Chris Pugh hit 2 of 4 free throws and the Tigers misfired twice in the final 20 seconds to give UMBC their eighth straight win over their beltway rivals.
Zito's 20 points was the most for a Retriever player this season. Washington ended up with 12 points, while Pugh added 9 and Dinkins tallied 8.
UMBC is now 13-13 vs. Towson since the Retrievers went to NCAA Division I competition in 1986-87.