BALTIMORE—UMBC junior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y./All Hallows/Siena) led all scorers with 23 points and posted a double-double with 10 assists, but the visiting Towson Tigers scored 53 second-half points to post a come-from-behind 86-77 victory at the RAC Arena.
UMBC fell despite hitting 50 percent (29 of 58) from the floor. The Retrievers were done in by being outrebounded, 42-25, and outscored, 18-3, in second-chance points.
The Retrievers led, 38-33, at halftime, and built the margin to 43-36 two minutes into the second half. But Towson scored the game's next eight points to take a 44-43 lead with 16:38 remaining. There were seven lead changes and five tie over the next ten minutes, culminating in a 62-all deadlock on a Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) jumper with 6:11 to play.
But Towson would take advantage of two key UMBC turnovers against the press, igniting a 15-4 run over the next five minutes to take command of the contest with a 77-66 lead with only 70 seconds remaining.
De La Rosa, UMBC's America East Player of the Game, hit 9-of-18 shots from the floor in 38 minutes of action.
UMBC (0-9) freshman wing Jamar Wertz (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) scored a season high 11 points in a reserve role.
Towson (3-5) had all five starters in double figures, led by forward Braxton Dupree, who led the visitors with 17 points and led all players with 11 rebounds.
UMBC committed eight of 14 turnovers in the second half and misfired on seven of 12 free throws in the final 20 minutes.
The Retrievers return home to face American on Tuesday, Dec. 14.