Men's Basketball Cannot Complete Rally; Falls, 64-56, in America East Opener to Visiting Stony Brook
BALTIMORE—UMBC rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit and cut visiting Stony Brook's lead to one point on two occasions, but could not completed the comeback and fell, 64-56 to the Seawolves in the America East Conference opener for both teams.
UMBC (1-13, 0-1) junior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y./All Hallows/Siena) was the America East Player of the Game for the hosts, leading the Retrievers with 16 points and adding eight assists and six rebounds.
Stony Brook (6-6, 0-1) sophomore guard Marcus Rouse tied a career high and led all scorers with 17 points and was the Seawolves' America East Player of the Game.
The Retrievers trailed by 16 at in the first half at home for the second consecutive game. They were able to rally to defeat Niagara, 68-67, on Thursday, but could not overcome 35 percent shooting in the league lid-lifter.
UMBC trailed, 34-18 before De La Rosa hit a trey at the first half horn to send his team into the locker room trailing by 13. Guard Travis King (New Haven, Conn./New Hyde Leadership/George Washington) hit a pair of treys to spark UMBC's 19-7 opening to the second half and cut the deficit to 41-40 with 11:20 to play.
Stony Brook rebuilt the lead to 49-43, but back-to-back driving layups by De La Rosa brought UMB C to within a bucket. After SBU's Dave Coley banked in a short jumper, De La Rosa fed freshman wing Jamar Wertz (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork), who rained in a trey from the right baseline and UMBC trailed, 51-50, with 3:53 to play.
But the Seawolves' Danny Carter, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half, matched Wertz' trey, hitting from the top of the key at the very end of the shot clock and UMBC would never get the ball in a one-possession game thereafter.
De La Rosa's trifecta with 22 seconds remaining got UMBC to within 60-56, but Stony Brook hit four consecutive free throws in one-and-one situations to hold off the Retrievers.
UMBC misfired on 22 of its first 29 attempts from the floor in the game and managed to climb to just 35 percent (21 of 60) from the floor in the contest.
Wertz was UMBC's lone 50 percent shooter for the game, hitting 4-of-8 in a 10-point effort.
The defending America East regular season champions improved to 10-8 vs. UMBC and have won the last five meetings.
UMBC has an early bye in league play and will entertain Maine on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2:00 p.m.