PITTSBURGH – UMBC senior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) scored a season-high 27 points, just one shy of his career-record, but UMBC could not upend Duquesne on the road, falling 94-88, Wednesday evening at the Palumbo Center.
Plummer scored 16 of his points in the second half but the host Dukes (3-3) got 15 second-half points of their own from Derrick Colter to hold off the Retrievers (3-6).
Tra'Vaughn White led Duquesne with 22 points while freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) and sophomore forward Malik Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Chesnut Hill Academy) added 18 and 12 points, respectively, for UMBC.
The Retrievers started well as Plummer opened the game with a long-range effort, and then followed it with a tough lay-in to put the visitors up 5-0. The Dukes answered right back, however, with a 7-0 run, capped by a lay-up from Colter, and never trailed again. The visitors drew level quickly at 9-9 as Elliott finished an and-one play at the hoop, but could never push over the top.
Duquesne looked to put the game away in the first half and took a nine-point advantage, 32-23, on a dunk byOvie Soko. The Retrievers would not go away, though, chipping at the lead and cutting it to just three, 40-37, on a pair of Plummer free throws just before the break.
Out of halftime, the hosts reasserted themselves by scoring the first six points for a 46-37 advantage. The lead grew to 15, 56- 41, at the 14:30 mark after White sank a pair from the charity stripe. UMBC dug in and got back within single-digits, 58-49, on a three-point basket by junior guard Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) with 12:22 left in the half.
The back- and-forth game of runs continued as the half wore on and the Dukes built a game-high lead of 18 on three occasions, but UMBC fought until the end. After Duquesne opened its lead to 72-54 at 8:19, the Retrievers answered with an 18-8 run, finished by a Garner pull-up jumper at 2:44.
Within the last minute, UMBC twice cut the lead to seven, 90-83 and 92-85, but could only trim it to six on a three by Plummer with three seconds left as Duquense earned the home win.
UMBC continues its four-game road swing with a weekend contest at Lehigh on Saturday. Tip- off between the Retrievers and Mountain Hawks is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Stabler Arena.