Ray Barbosa hit a halfcourt shot at the halftime buzzer, but his final attempt to tie the game hit the front of the rim. He scored 19 points in the loss to Maine.
Baltimore, Md.—The visiting Maine Black Bears hit a sizzling 64.4 percent from the floor and held off a furious late rally as they defeated UMBC, 77-74 before 2,510 fans at RAC Arena.
It was UMBC’s first home loss this year, as Maine snapped a six-game slide of their own. The Retrievers, which had won eight straight overall at the RAC Arena, fell to 11-6 and 3-1 in America East play, while Maine improved to 5-10, 1-1.
Maine junior forward Phil Tchekane Bofia led the visitors with 21 points, hitting eight of 12 from the floor and was named his squad’s America East Player of the Game. UMBC’s Darryl Proctor, (District Heights, Md.) who just missed his fifth straight double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds, was the Retrievers’ honoree.
The Retrievers nearly came back from a 12-point second half deficit and a seven-point hole with less than 90 seconds remaining as they had three chances to tie or take the lead in the final 32 seconds. Trailing 72-65, senior guard Brian Hodges (Upper Marlboro, Md.) made a traditional three-point play with 1:21 to play, and after a Maine turnover, buried a right side three-pointer to trim the gap to 72-71 with 1:11 remaining. Proctor promptly fouled Maine 6’9”, 310-pound mammoth center Brian Andre, who made one of two free throws with 1:02 to play.
After Maine’s Marc Socoby blocked Hodges three-point attempt with 32 seconds left, senior guard Ray Barbosa (Allentown, Pa.) hustled down the loose ball and was fouled by Socoby. But the America East’s lead in free throw percentage (88.4%) missed one of two attempts and UMBC still trailed by one. The Retrievers nearly caused another turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass, but the visitors retained possession and Socoby hit two free throws, blocked another Hodges potential game-tying shot and made two more free throws with 13 seconds left to give Maine a 77-72 advantage.
Barbosa made a driving layup with 7.7 seconds left and UMBC fouled Maine’s Junior Bernal, who missed both attempts. Barbosa brought the ball the length of the floor, but his 23-footer from the left corner hit the front iron and the Black Bears celebrated a road win.
Maine enjoyed a modest lead for most of the first half, until back-to-back three-pointers by Hodges gave UMBC their first of two leads in the contest at 30-29. Despite a halfcourt shot by Barbosa which swished at the buzzer, Maine led, 77-74 at the half.
Proctor was one of four Retrievers in double figures, as Hodges led the way with 21 points and running mate Barbosa added 19. But the pair hit just six of 22 shots from behind the arc. UMBC entered the game ranked 17th in the nation in three-point percentage, but converted on just seven of 26 and 28 of 70 (40.0%) from the floor.
The fresher Black Bears’ squad attempted 25 fewer shots than UMBC, but made one more, converting on 29 of 45. Inside the arc, Maine made 25 of 33, as Andre (6/8 fg , 14 points) helped stake the visitors to the first half lead.
UMBC, ranked second in the nation in fewest turnovers (10.5 per game) committed a season-low four, but were outrebounded by the bigger Bears, 36-27. The Retrievers complete the three-game homestand on Wednesday vs. Hartford, now the first-place team (2-0) in the conference. It will be UMBC’s fifth game in 14 days.