BALTIMORE – Four UMBC players scored in double figures and the host Retrievers hit 16-of-23 shots from the floor in the second half to rally past UMES, 64-59, at the RAC Arena.
UMBC freshman post David Kadiri (Beltsville, Md./Coolidge), making his second collegiate start, led the Retrievers with 21 points. Kadiri, who entered the game with 20 points in his first six outings, hit 10-of-13 shots from the floor in 24 minutes of action. Senior guard Quentin Jones (Baltimore, Md,./Mount St. Joseph), also making his second start, scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the victory.
UMES freshman guard Hakeem Baxter led all scorers with 28 points.
The Retrievers snapped a three-game slide and improved to 3-5 on the season, while the Hawks slipped to 2-4.
UMBC trailed, 28-24, at the half, but scored the first seven points of the second stanza and never trailed after that point. The Retrievers extended the run to 17-5 to open the half and took a 41-33 advantage on a Kadiri conversion of a pass from classmate Rodney Elliott(Baltimore, Md./John Carroll).
But the Hawks stormed back to tie the score at 43-all with 11:33 remaining, before a 7-2 response by UMBC, capped by an offensive rebound and dunk by Kadiri gave the hosts the lead for good.
UMBC led, 58-51, with 4:17 to play, but the Hawks scored six straight points, four from the free throw line to come within 58-57 on two Baxter free throws with 2:12 remaining. Jones re-established a three-point lead with a drive and score at the 1:53 mark, but UMES wing Shane Randall hit two free throws on the other end to bring the visitors to within 60-59 with 1:32 remaining.
After a Retriever turnover, UMES had three attempts to take the lead and Kadiri committed his fifth foul on the second Hawk offensive carom. But guard Troy Snyder, who led all players with 12 rebounds, missed both free throw attempts and UMBC freshman wing Charles Taylor, Jr. (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) won the ensuing loose ball battle.
Jones hit two free throws with 27 seconds left to extend the margin to 62-59 and Baxter was whistled for traveling on the a potential game-tying possession for UMES. Jones buried the final two free throws of the game with 16 seconds remaining.
UMBC gave up a season-low 59 points, 20 points less than its season average of 79.9 entering the contest.
The Retrievers shot a season-best 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the floor, rebounding from a rough 3-of-19 stretch to close the first half.
The first half featured huge swings as UMBC raced out to a 19-5 lead at the midway point of the stanza, but UMES replied with an even larger 23-5 surge to take a four-point halftime advantage.
UMBC sophomore wing Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chestnut Hill Academy) hit all four shots from the floor and added 11 points to the UMBC cause. Elliott scored in double figures for the fifth time in his first eight collegiate games, adding 10 points.
The Retrievers begin a four-game road trip which will take them through final exams. UMBC opens that stretch at Duquesne on Wednesday evening.