Buffalo, N.Y. – The UMBC men's basketball team was unable to come back from an early deficit in their Sears Bracket Busters game against MAAC foe Canisius as they fell, 73-66 at the Koessler Athletic Center
Sophomore forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) led all players with 24 points and 14 rebounds while junior guards Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian brother Academy) and Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti/Chestnut Hill College) finished the game with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Canisius got out to a 7-2 lead just three and a half minutes in before UMBC nearly doubled their total over the next six minutes to tie the game at 14-14 after Plummer got inside for a layup. However, over the next three minutes, the Golden Griffins went on a 13-point run and eventually built it to a game-high 21-point lead with 55 seconds remaining in the first half.
In the final 32 seconds of the half UMBC made two three-pointers to cut their deficit to 15 at the break, 43-28. Following a layup by Canisius guard Reggie Groves that put UMBC down by 21, Plummer hit UMBC's first three of the night. The Retrievers got possession back for a final shot when freshman point guard Jerrel Lane (Rahway, N.J./St. Patrick) came up with a defensive rebound and as the time was ticking off the clock, Cook threw up a shot from three-point range that went in as the buzzer sounded.
Canisius guard Alshwan Hymes led all players with 19 points in the first half after making five 3-pointers. After the break, though, UMBC limited his attempts and he finished with only four second half points for 23 in the game.
Those three-pointers seemed to spark the Retrievers out of the break as UMBC extended their run to 13 unanswered points. On the first possession of the second half, Neller hit a three and followed it up with a jumper inside before Lane got inside for a layup to make it a 43-35 game.
For the majority of the second half UMBC would only trail by single-digits and got within three points of the Golden Griffins with 2:16 remaining after the Retrievers made seven-straight free throws, which later extended to nine-straight, but they would get no closer as they fell to 4-23 on the season.
Cook finished the game shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range. Neller added two more treys in the second half, where he scored 12 of his 14 points. Lane led UMBC with five assists.
Canisius forward Chris Manhertz had 11 points and 10 rebounds while guard Harold Washington had 16 points.
UMBC returns for its final home game of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 22 when they host America East rival Boston University.