Ellliott Nets 26, But Foul-Plagued UMBC Falls to UML, 71-61

BALTIMORE – UMBC forced 25 UMass Lowell turnovers, but shot under 33 percent from the floor and fell to the visiting River Hawks, 71-61, in an America East Conference contest at the RAC Arena.

Once league newcomer UML got shot attempts, they were extremely efficient, hitting 19-of-35 shots from the floor (54.3%), 9-of-14 from behind the arc (64.3%) and 24-of-30 from the free throw line.

UMBC freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) tied his season high with 26 points. The four-time America East Rookie of the Week (and today's AE Player of the Game) is averaging 22.7 points per game in his last three outings.  

River Hawk senior guard Akeem Williams led all scorers with 30 points, becoming the second UMBC opponent to hit the 30-point plateau since Feb. 1, 2012.

UMass Lowell outscored UMBC, 26-11, from the four-minute mark of the first half until the 16-minute mark of the second half.  The River Hawks led, 29-23, at the break and hit four consecutive treys on four possessions after an initial miss in the second half to build a 43-30 lead with 16:15 remaining.

UMBC would claw back, forcing 13 UML second-half miscues and shaving the deficit to 54-50 after a pair of Brett Roseboro (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown) free throws with 5:20 remaining. But UMBC committed its ninth team foul on the inbounds play and Williams hit two free throws, starting an 8-0 run over the next 2:15 to put the game away.

The Retrievers attempted 23 more shots than did the River Hawks, but made the same number (19) of field goals (32.8%). They also committed 18 turnovers, and only outscored UML, 19-18, in points off turnovers.

UMBC senior guard Quentin Jones (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) scored all ten of his points in the second half and was the only other Retriever in double figures. Elliott added five rebounds and three assists to his 26 points in 38 minutes of work.

Williams was magnificent, hitting 7-of-9 shots from the floor, 4-of-5 from behind the arc and 12-of-14 from the charity stripe.

The Retriever built a 16-11 lead in the first 13 minutes, but were whistled for five illegal screens in the first 18 minutes, and gave up the advantage in the latter stages of the half.  The 29 fouls committed by UMBC are the most they have been guilty of in America East play this season.

UMBC completes the three-game homestand by welcoming defending league champion Albany to the RAC Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The contest will be broadcast by ESPN3.