Furious Rally by UMBC Cagers Comes Up Just Short
BALTIMORE – UMBC rallied from an 18-point second half deficit to take a late lead, but visiting Binghamton won a tight 72-70 decision at the RAC Arena in the Retrievers' final regular season home game of the campaign.
UMBC freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) led UMBC with 19 points, while Bearcat counterpart Yosef Yacob countered with a game-high 20 points for his side.
The Retrievers dropped their third straight in league play and slipped to 9-19 overall and 5-10 in league play. Binghamton won for the third time in their last four outings and improved to 7-20, 4-10.
UMBC trailed, 60-42, with 10:40 remaining, but made an 13-0 surge to climb to within 60-53 on a Joey Getz (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Wood) jumper at the 6:48 mark.
Binghamton maintained a six-point advantage at 66-60 on two free throws by Marlon Beck with 3:44 remaining. But Elliott hit a trey on the next possession, then stole the ball and fed senior guard Quentin Jones (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph), who drained a trey to knot the score at 66-all with 2:50 left and send the arena into a frenzy.
UMBC would take the lead, but suffered self-inflicted wounds in the process. They got back-to-back stops, but Plummer and Jones would both hit just one-of-two free throws to give the hosts a one possession lead at 68-66 with 1:42 remaining.
Elliott was whistled for a foul on the next possession, and Beck drained two free throws to knot the score at 68-all. Then, after a missed Plummer jumper, Binghamton sophomore guard Jordan Reed grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast to put the visitors ahead, 70-68, with 57 seconds remaining.
Elliott would misfire in an attempt to tie the game with 42 seconds remaining and Jones fouled Yosef, who hit one-of-two from the line. The Retriever freshman countered with a driving layup with 13 seconds left to cut the gap to 71-70, and Binghamton guard Karon Waller converted one of two free throws to set up the game's dramatic conclusion.
Plummer got an open look from the right wing, but his trey with five seconds remaining was a bit strong. Getz corralled the rebound, but his fade-away just before the horn fell short.
The Retrievers had two more field goals (24-22) and one more trey (7-6) than Binghamton, but were hurt at the free throw line, where the Bearcats missed just seven of 29 attempts (75.9%) and the hosts misfired nine times on 24 tries (62.5%).
Plummer added 12 points and freshman wing Charles Taylor, Jr. (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) added 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Four Bearcats scored in double figures and Binghamton outrebounded UMBC, 32-24.
UMBC concludes the regular season at Hartford on March 2.
Notes: Plummer became the ninth player in school history to reach the 1,300-point plateau (1,308)… Elliott became the third freshman in UMBC's Division I history to reach the 400-point mark (412) in a season… UMBC finished the home schedule at 8-5.