Men's Basketball Uses Marksmanship From Free Throw Line to Outlast Towson, 62-58
Towson, Md.- UMBC outscored host Towson, 10-4, in the final 2:10, hitting 10 of 12 free throw attempts, and defeated the Tigers, 62-58 in the 53rd meeting between the two teams.
Junior guard Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) led all scorers with 17 points and converted the tying and go-ahead free throw attempts down the stretch. Sophomore forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.) produced his second double-double of the season, recording 13 points and 11 rebounds and junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) added 12 points.
The Retrievers (1-7) posted their first victory of the season and snapped a four-game slide to the Tigers. Towson fell to 0-9.
UMBC led for over 25 minutes before the Tigers erased a 50-45 deficit and used a 9-2 run to lead 54-52 on a Deon Jones layup with 2:32 to play.
But Cook was fouled on a drive on the ensuing possession and converted two free throws with 2:10 to play to tie the score. Cook was then fouled while boxing out Marcus Damas on Towson's next possession and made one of two attempts to give the visitors a 55-54 lead with 1:41 remaining.
UMBC made another defensive stand, creating a Tiger turnover on the next possession, and Cook hit two more free throws with 67 seconds to play.
The Retrievers forced another missed Tiger attempt, and sophomore guard Quentin Jones (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph) corralled the rebound and converted two free throws to put UMBC in front, 59-54, with 33 seconds remaining. Plummer sealed the win with two more free throws with 20 seconds to play.
Cook added eight rebounds and six assists and has scored in double figures (13.7 ppg) in all three of his contests in the black and gold.
After a nine-day layoff, UMBC started sluggishly, misfiring on 10 of its 12 shots and falling behind, 11-6, at the 12:40 mark of the first half. But a 9-1 Retriever run gave the visitors a 15-12 advantage on a Cook tip-in four minutes later. Towson would retake the lead at 22-20 with 4:11 to play, but Neller capped a 10-4 run to end the half with a tough trifecta with 23 seconds left in the frame and UMBC led, 30-26 at the break.
Both teams struggled from the floor, as UMBC hit 18 of 50 field goals (36 percent), while Towson was 23 of 63 (36.5 percent). However, the Retrievers were 20 of 26 (76.9 percent) from the stripe, while the Tigers misfired on 17 of 25 (32 percent).
UMBC returns home for two straight, hosting Morgan State on Wednesday and Rider on Saturday at the RAC Arena.