November 11, 2011

Plummer Nets 15, But Men's Basketball Drops Defensive Stuggle to Visiting Penn

Baltimore- UMBC sophomore forward Chase Plummer (Elizabeth, N.J.) scored a career-best 15 points and added nine rebounds, but the Retrievers dropped a defensive battle, 59-45, to the visiting Penn Quakers in the opening game for both teams.

Penn senior guard Zack Rosen, who scored 28 points in his first visit to the RAC Arena two seasons ago, led all scorers with 26 points in the contest.

A young UMBC team struggled on the offensive end, committing 20 turnovers and hitting only 16 of 48 shots from the field (33.3 percent.) For the ninth time in school history, the Retrievers did not hit a three-point field goal (0/11).

However, UMBC hung in the game by outrebounding the Quakers and holding everyone not named Rosen in check. The Retrievers held a double-digit rebounding edge for most of the contest, but only converted 11 offensive rebounds into five second-chance points.

After Plummer opening the scoring on a driving layup off the jump ball, Penn went on an 18-5 run and led 18-7 with 10:07 remaining in the first half. But the Retrievers would battle back and forge a 22-all tie on a pair of Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) free throws with 3:38 to play in the first half.

Penn regained the lead and went into halftime with a 28-25 edge, scoring 19 points off of UMBC's 14 first half miscues.

UMBC was still within six points at 37-31 with 14:41 to play, but did not hit another field goal until Plummer's lay-in with 5:55 remaining. The Quakers built a 50-34 lead by that points as Rosen scored 16 of his points in the final 20 minutes.

The Retrievers started a pair of freshmen- Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa) at point guard andNate Basalyga (Scranton, Pa.) at center and were without the services of senior guard Chris De La Rosa (Washington Heights, N.Y.). Del La Rosa, America East's leading returning scorer, did not dress as he has not fully recovered from off-season foot surgery.

Six of the 11 UMBC players who saw action were making their collegiate debuts.

Penn senior guard Tyler Bernadini was the only other player in double figures with 10 points.

The Quakers shot 41.2 percent (21 of 51) from the floor and 6-of-18 attempts from behind the arc. UMBC won the battle of the boards, 39-31.

The Retrievers travel to Queens, N.Y. on Saturday for a Sunday afternoon (2:00 p.m.) tilt at St. John's.