BALTIMORE, MD. – The UMBC men's basketball team came back from a ten-point second half deficit to force overtime, but could not pull off the upset, losing to Maine, 77-76, Saturday afternoon at the RAC Arena.
Sophomore Chase Plummer led all scorers with 24 points, and nearly recorded a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds, while being named UMBC's America East Player of the Game.
The game was tight throughout, with the teams trading the lead nine times and tying eight times.
The first half was nearly a stalemate, as the two squads traded buckets throughout. UMBC (3-19, 2-8 America East) tried to pull away, and gained its largest lead of the half at 27-22, following two free throws by Plummer at the 4:22 mark.
The Black Bears (11-10, 5-5 America East) pulled within two with under a minute to play in the half, before Plummer knocked down another free throw to provide the halftime margin, a 36-33 lead for the hosts.
The Retrievers outrebounded their guests 23-15 in the opening period, but turned the ball over ten times, compared to just eight turnovers for Maine.
After a cagey opening to the second half, UMBC once again opened up a five point lead, courtesy of a Plummer jumper. Maine, however, responded with an 11-0 run to take a 50-44 lead with 12:18 left in the game following a layup by Alasdair Fraser. Fraser finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds and was named Maine's America East Player of the Game.
After maintaining their cushion for a few minutes, the Black Bears went on a quick 6-0 run to grab a game-high 10 point lead with 6:38 left. Maine would push the lead to ten again, 62-52, minutes later, but then the Retrievers responded.
Using a 13-4 run, UMBC pulled back to within just one following a layup by junior Ryan Cook. After a jumper by Maine's Justin Edwards, Cook hit another lay-in to cut the Black Bears' lead to one again, this time with 57 seconds left.
Needing a stop, UMBC forced a Maine turnover and was rewarded as Plummer was fouled and went to the line. Making one-of-two shots, the sophomore tied the game at 68-68. Maine had one last chance in regulation, but Gerald McLemore's runner was no good.
In overtime, neither team led by more than three with UMBC building a 76-73 lead with 19 seconds left. Maine however, went on a mini 4-0 to finish the game, capped off by two free throws by Raheem Singleton with seven second left.
The Retrievers return to the court on Wednesday night when they host America East rival Hartford for RAC in Black Night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.