Plummer and Getz Shine Offensively, But Visiting Hartford Edges Men's Basketball, 76-70
BALTIMORE- The visiting Hartford Hawks snapped their five-game losing streak and extended UMBC's to five as they outscored the Retrievers, 76-70 at the RAC Arena.
The loss spoiled a career night for UMBC sophomore forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.). Plummer scored a career-high 28 points, hitting 11 of 14 shots from the floor and added six steals, five rebounds and four assists. He was UMBC's America East Player of the Game, while Hartford freshman forward Nate Sikma earned the honor for his team with 20 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
The Hawks improved to 5-7 in league play (5-19 overall), while UMBC slipped to 2-9, 3-20.
Both teams were red-hot in the first half. UMBC hit an incredible 14 of its first 17 shots from the floor and built 33-23 lead with 8:04 remaining in the half. Plummer scored all 20 of his first half points, including a pair of 3-point field goals, in the first 10:39 of play. But the Hawks rebounded and outscored UMBC, 21-7, in the final 7:06 of the half to take a 44-41 lead into the break.
Hartford hit 14 of 21 shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, while UMBC was 17 of 28.
UMBC never led in the second half, but rallied from eight points down to whittle the lead to one point on two occasions. Plummer's wing jumper brought the hosts to within 65-64 with 6:17 remaining, but Hartford's Andres Torres countered with a trey from the left wing to restore the margin to four points.
Junior guard Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) halved a 73-67 deficit with a three from the left side with 1:24 to play and the Hawks misfired on the next possession. But Neller's quick attempt from behind the arc with 32 seconds left was short and Hartford's Clayton Brothers grabbed the rebound and hit two free throws to extend the Hawk lead to 75-70.
Plummer forced shot from the baseline with 16 seconds left was off the mark and the Hawks' Yolonzo Moore hit one of two free throws to seal the victory.
Neller added 14 points for UMBC, while freshman guard Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a season-best 11 points and added team highs of six rebounds and six assists.
Hartford averaged only 50.0 points per game during the losing streak, but shot 52.1 percent (25-of-48) from the floor during the game.
UMBC hit 28 of 54 shots (51.9%), but missed four of six free throws in the final 4:27.
Getz was the lone Retriever to pull down an offensive rebound (1) and the Retrievers were outrebounded, 32-23.
The Retrievers board a bus tomorrow morning and face first-place Stony Brook (10-1) on Thursday at Pritchard Gymnasium.