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MEN'S HOOPS HOLDS OFF ST. FRANCIS (PA), 77-75, IN NEC OPENER
LORETTO, PA - Sophomore Peter Mulligan posted game-highs in scoring (21) and rebounding (13)and UMBC (3-0, 1-0) overcame a furious late-game rally by Saint Francis (1-3, 0-1) to beat the Red Flash, 77-75, on Thursday night at the Stokes Center.It was the Northeast Conference opener for both schools.Will McClurkin (15 points), Malik Wallace (13) and Kareem Washington (11) were also in double figures for UMBC.Freshman Rahsaan Benton led Saint Francis with 16 points. Senior Reiner Mougnol (11 points/11 rebounds) and freshman Rodney Gibson (15 points/10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles for the Red Flash. Joey Goodson chipped in 11 points.UMBC led by a point (41-40) at the intermission, before outscoring Saint Francis, 17-3, to start the second half. Mulligan scored 14 of UMBC's 17 points in the run, capping the rally with a three-pointer to put the Retrievers ahead, 58-43, with 11:20 to play.The Retrievers would retain the lead before a barrage of three-pointers by Goodson. The Red Flash freshman drilled three-pointers on three straight possessions, the last coming at 2:48, to tie the game at 72-72. UMBC would net the next four points on two free throws by Washington and a bucket by McClurkin to push ahead, 76-72.After a bucket by Gibson pulled the Flash within two (76-74), McClurkin sank one of two free throws with eight seconds to play before fouling Saint Francis junior point guard Dan Swoger, who fired a desperation three-pointer from midcourt at the buzzer. Swoger made the first free throw but missed on the second, allowing the Retrievers to escape with the win. The Red Flash lost despite outrebounding UMBC, 42-37. Eighteen of SFU's 42 rebounds came off the offensive glass. The Retrievers shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) from the field compared to 38.7 percent (24-for-62) for Saint Francis. UMBC committed just 12 turnovers in the win.