Orono, Maine- Host Maine shot a blistering 58.5 percent from the floor and withstood a late Retriever rally to win their fourth straight, defeating visiting UMBC, 81-66, at Alfond Arena.
UMBC junior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) was the Retrievers' America East Player of the Game, coming off the bench to lead the team with 14 points and nine rebounds.
But after holding their last three opponents under 70 points, UMBC's defense faltered throughout the game, but especially down the stretch as the Black Bears came away with points on their final ten offensive possessions of the game.
UMBC trailed by double figures for much of the second half, but stayed within striking distance. The Retrievers trailed, 60-50, with 6:34 to play, but senior forward Adrian Satchell (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) sparked a 11-4 run over the next 2:22. He started the surge with an offensive rebound, put-back and free throw and converted a Plummer steal into a layup to cut the deficit to 60-55.
The Black Bears responded with four straight points, but back-to-back treys by senior guards Ryan Cook (Laurel, Md./Pallotti) and Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J./Christian Bros. Acad.) brought UMBC to within 64-61 with 4:22 to play.
UMBC got the initial stop on the next Maine trip down the floor, but Maine senior center Mike Allison followed the miss with a slam dunk. Seconds later, Bear sophomore guard Justin Edwards stole an errant UMBC pass and scored to restore the hosts' lead to 68-61.
Neller hit another long left baseline trey to trim the deficit to 68-64, but Maine (2-0, 7-8) would score the next seven points and sent the Retrievers (0-2, 2-13) to their eighth consecutive setback.
UMBC junior post Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) added 12 points for UMBC, while Cook scored in double figures for the tenth consecutive game, tallying 10 points.
Maine hit 31-of-35 shots from the floor and 15-of-23 from the charity stripe, while UMBC was at 44.3 percent (27-of-61) from the field and 7-of-10 from the line. The Black Bears outrebounded the Retrievers, 39-25, including 25-11 in the final 20 minutes.
The first half featured two huge scoring runs. After falling behind 14-6 at the outset, UMBC outscored their hosts, 19-5 over a span of 6:41 and took a 25-19 with 7:09 to play in the stanza. The Retrievers hit 9-of-10 field goal attempts in that stretch after starting the contest 1-of-7. But Maine, sparked by perfect shooting from junior guard Jon Mesghna, went on a 14-0 surge and captured a 33-25 advantage with 3:38 to play in the stanza. Mesghna hit all four field goal attempts in the half, including all three from behind the arc, and the Black Bears led, 37-29 at the break.
UMBC hit 13-of-26 shots from the floor in the half, but Maine sizzled at 62.5 percent, burying 15-of-24, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc.
All five Maine starters scored in double figures, led by 17 apiece by Edwards and junior forward Alasdair Fraser.
UMBC opens up the home portion of America East play when they entertain New Hampshire at the RAC Arena on Wed, Jan. 9.