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SPARKED BY FRONTCOURT, MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS LEAGUE PLAY WITH 72-57 WIN OVER STONY BROOK
Senior forward John Zito scored a team high 16 points, hitting 7 of 10 shots from the field, including all four in the second half. Junior forward Mike Housman (6/9 fg) helped UMBC to a first half lead, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the first 20 minutes, while senior forward Jerrell Dinkins hit five of ten shots in a solid 13-point effort.
The good thing about this team is on any given night someone can step up to help us,” said Head Coach Randy Monroe. “That’s what I like about this team. At the beginning of the year, I was asking myself where the scoring was going to come from. We’ve had balance from the beginning of the season up until now. I’m pleased with that. There’s no one key guy to just target and say, ‘We have to stop him tonight,’ because someone else has the ability to step up and have a good night.”
Stony Brook was led by
UMBC led nearly the whole way, aside from a 9-9 tie in the early going. With the Retrievers leading, 19-14, at the 7:00 mark, UMBC went on a 14-4 run to build a 33-18 advantage with 1:18 remaining. Zito scored six of his eight first half points in the run. UMBC appeared to take a 15-point lead into halftime, but Stony Brook’s Bobby Santiago hit a half court shot at the buzzer to trim the deficit to 35-23 at intermission.
The Seawolves made a solid run early in the second half, scoring 15 of 19 points to get within 47-43 with 11:03 to play. But a short bank shot by Dinkins, and a three-pointer from the corner by junior guard Chris Pugh triggered a 7-0 run which put UMBC ahead, 54-43 three minutes later.
Stony Brook failed to get within a three-possession deficit the rest of the way. They fouled UMBC freshman guard Jay Greene four times in a 43-second span and Greene hit seven straight from the line to keep the Seawolves out of range. Greene added a season high eight assists to go along with seven points, while Pugh contributed nine points and four helpers.
UMBC is now 3-1 at home this season and they evened their season series with the Seawolves at 3-3. The 57 points allowed by UMBC was its best defensive effort of the season after permitting 80-plus in the last two outings.