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MEN'S BASKETBALL DROPS 70-55 DECISION TO LA SALLE
The Explorers feasted from the free throw line, hitting 24 of 30 in the second half and 29 of 38 (76.3%) for the game. UMBC, which hit 22 of 27 from the charity stripe in Friday’s 75-65 win over Maryland Eastern Shore, missed five of their first six in the second half and nine of 21 in the game.
LaSalle built a 35-25 lead late in the first half, as sophomore guard Darnell Harris drained a three-point goal. But the Explorers would not score again until 13:41 remained in the second half, as UMBC cut the deficit to 35-29 at intermission and took a brief 37-35 lead on a Mike Housman layup with 15:48 to play.
But with the game tied at 41-all, the Explorers went on the game’s critical run, a 12-1 surge over a four-minute span which gave the visitors a 53-42 lead with 7:28 remaining. The Retrievers missed all five field goal attempts and committed a turnover in that stretch, which La Salle got scoring from five different players.
UMBC, which hit just ten of 26 shots in the second half, trimmed the deficit to single digits just once, as freshman guard Tom Young scored on a put-back to trim the gap to 63-54 with 1:23 remaining. But four straight Explorer free throws sandwiched around a Retriever turnover sealed UMBC’s fate in the second of three games in a five-day span.
Sophomore guard Brian Hodges scored in double figures for the eighth straight game, scoring 17 points, but on just 4 of 14 shooting from the floor. Senior forward John Zito had a solid effort with 10 points and 7 rebounds, but was well defended by the 6-foot-9 Smith, last season’s co-Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
Thomas hit 11 of 14 from the charity stripe for his 17 points, while Smith tallied 15 points and added a game-high nine rebounds.
The Retrievers play their first road game of the campaign at