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MEN'S BASKETBALL RALLIES TO WIN OPENER, 86-81 OVER TOWSON
UMBC erased a ten-point second half deficit in the final seven minutes of play and defeated Towson, 86-81, in the opening round of the Battle of Baltimore Tournament played at Morgan State University. The Retrievers will take on Loyola in the championship game on Monday at 7pm.
Kareem Washington led the rally as he scored a career high 23 points. UMBC trailed, 69-59 with seven minutes to play and cut that deficit in half with 2:50 remaining. Then Washington hit a three-pointer and a driving layup to tie the score at 74-74 with 2:06 remaining. UMBC senior guard Justin Wilson gave UMBC its first lead of the game on a layup after a TU turnover, but Towson guard Brian Allen hit a long range three to put the Tigers ahead, 77-76 with 1:27 to play. But Washington penetrated the Towson zone a hit a short jumper and ensuing free throw to give the Retrievers the lead for good. Washington, Wilson and Rob Gogerty hit six consecutive free throws in the final 50 seconds to give UMBC a chance to win its third straight title on Monday.
Washington led four players in double figures, as Wilson and Andrew Feeley scored 16 points and Gogerty added 15. UMBC hit a sizzling 60% from the floor (33/55), including 16 of 24 in the final 20 minutes.
Loyola defeated Morgan State, 83-80 in the nightcap, and will face UMBC for the third time in four years for the title.