BALTIMORE-UMBC graduate forward Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa./West Perry) became the first Retriever at the Division I level to record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game, but a horrid first half sent UMBC to its fourth consecutive loss, a 64-57 setback to visiting Hartford.
Fry, UMBC's America East Player of the Game, tied his career high in scoring and also tied a Retriever Division I mark with the 20 caroms. Sonique Nixon grabbed 20 vs. Central Connecticut State on March 7, 1992 and Kennedy Okafor snared 20 vs. Bucknell on Dec. 30, 2000.
Hartford (9-18, 6-8 America East) senior guard Joe Zeglinski led his squad with 22 points and was the Hawk's America East Player of the Game.
For the fourth consecutive game, UMBC trailed by a substantial margin at intermission. Fry scored 12 of the Retrievers' 17 first half points, as the hosts made 5 of 24 shots from the floor and committed 11 turnovers. Hartford's first six field goals of the half were treys as they extended a 12-11 lead with 12:35 remaining to 26-11 over eight minutes later.
The Hawks took a 33-17 lead into the half and extended the lead to 18 points 37-19 at the 18:49 mark of the second half. But UMBC would continually chip away, finally getting the margin down to 51-48 on Travis King's three-pointer with 7:42 remaining. It was the fourth consecutive made trey for UMBC after starting the game 0-for-10.
But the Retrievers could not complete the comeback despite poor Hawk free throw shooting down the stretch. Hartford missed nine of 12 attempts during one stretch in the final six minutes, but UMBC would only get the ball one time in a one-possession game. After a layup by Fry cut the Hawk lead to 53-50 with 4:28 to play, the Retrievers would not hit another field goal until Fry's 20th rebound and put back cut the gap back to 60-56 with 36 seconds to play.
After Zeglinski hit one of two free throws with 35 seconds left, UMBC freshman wing Jamar Wertz could have made it a one-possession affair, but missed one of two shots from the line with 22 seconds to play. Zeglinski then converted two free throws with 20 seconds left to seal the victory.
Wertz tied season highs with 11 points and seven rebounds in a starting role for the first time since Jan. 26. Sophomore forward Adrian Satchell nearly posted a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Fry hit six of nine shots from the floor and eight of 10 from the stripe in his 117th game as a Retriever, moving into fourth place on that all-time list.
UMBC (5-23, 4-11), which is assured of playing the first round game of the America East Tournament on March 3, concludes the regular season at Albany on Feb. 23.