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Jackson and De La Rosa Shatter Career Highs, But Men's Basketball Falls in Double Overtime, 89-86, at Central Connecticut State
New Britain, Conn.—Junior post Robbie Jackson (Aberdeen, Md.) and sophomore guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y.) both had tremendous career-best efforts, but UMBC lost a heartbreaker, falling, 89-86, in double overtime to host Central Connecticut State.
Jackson posted his third double-double of the season with a career-high 24 points and career-best 15 rebounds. De La Rosa scored a career-high 25 points, hitting 11 of 15 shots from the floor.
The Retrievers trailed, 63-56, with 5:55 remaining in regulation, but fought back and sent the contest to overtime at 66-all on Chauncey Gilliam’s (Columbia, Md.) layup on a De La Rosa feed with 38 seconds left.
In the first overtime period, freshman wing Shawn Grant (San Jose, Calif.) tied the game at 76-all on a 3-point field goal with 1:33 remaining. After the Blue Devils misfired with 17 seconds remaining, UMBC had plenty of time to get off a potential game-winning shot, but were unable to do so.
The Retrievers took a pair of two-point leads in the second overtime period, and led, 82-80, after De La Rosa’s driving lay-in with 2:36 remaining. On the next possession, a UMBC deflection nearly resulted in a turnover, but Central’s Vince Rosario buried a trifecta from the right wing to give the hosts the lead for good with 2:11 to play.
UMBC, which shot a season-best 53 percent from the floor (34 of 64), missed its next five field goal attempts and Central’s Joe Seymore hit both ends of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 4.4 seconds left to five Central an insurmountable 89-84 lead.
After a one-of-four start, Jackson hit seven of his final 11 shots from the floor and made eight of nine free throw attempts. He fouled out with 4.4 seconds remaining and drew a round of applause from the partisan Central crowd.
Gilliam and Grant each added 12 points for UMBC. Guard Robby Ptacek led five Blue Devils in double figures with 23 points.
UMBC scored a season-high 40 first half points to take a 40-36 lead at intermission. They hit 18 of 30 shots from the floor, including 14 of their final 19 of the half. UMBC’s largest lead was a 37-30 advantage with 2:14 to play in the half and the Retrievers had a pair of six-point advantages early in the second half. A Jackson dunk gave the visitors a 50-44 lead with 13:47 remaining, but the Retrievers would go nearly seven minutes without a field goal and Seymore’s second of back-to-back three’s capped a 16-4 surge to put the Blue Devils on top, 60-54 at the 7:14 mark.
The Retrievers committed 10 turnovers (of 15) and allowed Central 12 offensive rebounds in the final 30 minutes of the game.
UMBC opens its seventh America East Conference season on Saturday at Vermont.