BALTIMORE – UMBC could never solve Howard's zone defense and the Retrievers dropped their home opener, a 68-54 decision to the visiting Bison.
Junior guard Aaron Morgan (Langhorne, Pa.) led the Retrievers with 13 points and reserve wing Charles Taylor (Washington ,D.C./Springbrook) scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half to lead the hosts.
Howard (3-3) sophomore guards James Daniel and James Miller scored 19 points and 18 points respectively to lead all scorers in the game.
Trailing 31-26 at the break, UMBC (0-4) hit five of its first seven shots from the floor in the second stanza and stayed close at 38-34 after a layup by Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) with 16:22 to play in the half.
But Howard hit four of five to start the frame and would go on a 9-2 run to take 47-36 advantage with 12:33 to play.
UMBC would misfire on 18 of its final 23 field goal attempts of the game and could not come within single digits of Howard after Bison wing Jared Norsworthy hit a layup to give his side a 53-42 lead with 6:13 remaining.
The Retrievers finished at 20 of 55 for the game (36.4%), and hit only 3-of-18 shots from behind the arc. Howard converted 12 of 24 shots in the final 20 minutes and finished the game at 23 of 47 (48.9%).
UMBC freshman guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) scored all ten of his points in the first half and junior post Cody Joyce (Churchton, Md./Southern) scored eight points and grabbed a career high nine rebounds. Joyce was efficient from the floor (3 of 4), but had been attempting ten shots per game entering the contest.
UMBC took early leads of 3-0 and 5-3, but Howard went on a 6-0 run and grabbed a 9-5 advantage with 15:57 to play in the first half. The Retrievers took their final lead of the half at 14-13 as Charles Taylor hit one of two free throws at the midpoint of the stanza. But the Bison surged with a 13-2 run and secured a 26-16 advantage with 3:23 to plawy.
The Retrievers did halve the lead, as Grant hit his final three field goal attempts, including one just before the halftime horn, and the hosts trailed, 31-26, at the break.
UMBC will seek its first victory of the season when Towson visits the RAC Arena on Saturday. Tip-off time is set for 1:00 p.m.