Baltimore- Four Retrievers scored in double figures, but visiting Morgan State hit 54.3 percent from the field and defeated UMBC, 73-60 at the RAC Arena.
Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) led UMBC with 16 points, while front court starters Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.) and Chandler Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 11 points each. Plummer, who did not score due to foul trouble in the first half, added 12 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double.
Morgan State (1-7) senior post Kevin Thompson led all scorers with 17 points, hitting eight of 10 shots from the field.
Despite corralling 20 offensive rebounds, the Retrievers struggled from the floor, hitting only 23 of 73 attempts (31.5 percent).
Neither team led by more than four points in the first 14:30 of the game and UMBC led, 18-17, after a Will Wise (Philadelphia, Pa.) put-back with 6:28 to play in the first stanza. But Morgan's DeWayne Jackson hit a three 20 seconds later and started a 15-1 run which gave the visitors a 33-19 lead with 2:23 to play in the half. The Bears hit 6 of 7 shots, including both 3-point attempts in that span.
UMBC (1-8) trimmed the margin to 35-24 at the half and scored eight of the first 11 points of the second half to close within 38-32 just 2:15 into the frame. But the Retrievers did not score in their next six opportunities, missing four shots and committing two turnovers, and Morgan's Blake Bozeman hit a pair of 3-point field goals to extend the lead to 44-32 with 15:02 to play.
UMBC closed the gap to eight points on two occasions in the final ten minutes, the final time when Neller hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 59-51 with 5:26 remaining. But Morgan's Larry Bastfield buried a three on the next possession and UMBC could not rally down the stretch.
Morgan State, which entered the game hitting only 24 percent from behind the arc, converted 8-of-17 (47.1 percent), while UMBC misfired on 17 of 21 attempts (19.0 percent) against the Bear zone defense.
Thompson recorded four of Morgan State's eight blocked shots, while 7'2" center Ian Chlles (14 points, 7 rebounds) rejected three.
UMBC senior post Jake Wasco (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 10 points and 9 rebounds for UMBC.
The Bears have won four straight in the series and took a 14-13 series lead over UMBC.
UMBC entertains Rider on Saturday, Dec. 17.