BALTIMORE – All five UMBC starters scored in double figures as the Retrievers outscored Maine, 16-9, in the final 3:23 and defeated the Black Bears, 73-66, at the RAC Arena.
Junior post Cody Joyce (Churchton, Md./Southern) led the balanced attack with 16 points. Sophomore Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) added career-highs with 15 points and six assists and freshman guard Malcolm Brent (Silver Spring, Md./Northwood) also contributed 15 points.
Maine freshman guard Kevin Little led all scorers with 22 points.
UMBC (4-23, 2-12 AE) swept the season series from Maine (3-24, 2-12 AE) and snapped a seven-game slide.
Maine rallied from a 53-44 deficit to knot the score at 57-all on a driving layup by Little with 3:45 remaining. On UMBC's ensuing possession, Brent would miss a trey, but Darley got the offensive caroms and handed off to Brent, who laid in the follow. After a missed jumper by Little, Darley corralled that rebound, was fouled, and hit two free throws to give the hosts a 61-57 lead with 2:36 remaining.
Both teams were successful on their next two possessions, and UMBC freshman guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) restored the Retriever advantage to four at 65-51 with a tough, short bank shot at the end of the shot clock and 70 seconds remaining.
After another Little missed attempt, Grant snared his team-high eighth rebound and converted two free throws to build the lead to 67-61 with 44 seconds to play. Darley converted two more shots from the stripe and UMBC seemed to be in control, up 69-61 with 35 seconds to play.
But Maine countered with two free throws four seconds later and, after a steal on the inbounds play, Little buried a trey from the left wing to make the game a one possession affair at 69-66 with 23 seconds to play.
The Retrievers were able to whittle all but seven seconds off the block before Maine fouled Brent, who calmly sank both ends of a one-and-one situation. After Little failed on a drive to the basket, Grant hit two more free throws with two seconds left to finalize the scoring.
Grant scored 14 points and added five assists, in addition to the eight caroms. Senior forward Devarick Houston (Jonesboro, Ga.) was the fifth Retriever in double figures with 10 points and the defensive wizard added a season-high five steals.
UMBC hit 13 of 22 shots from the floor in a 42-point second half and finished at 50 percent (23 of 46) for the contest. The Retrievers, who came into the game at 63.2 percent from the charity stripe, converted a season best 90.5 percent, knocking down 19 of 21. UMBC also amassed a season-best 19 assists on 23 field goals.
Maine cooled in the second half and finished at 40.3 percent (25-of-62) for the game.
The Retrievers got out to a 15-6 lead, but Maine hit 10 of 13 field goal attempts to erase that deficit and build a 31-22 advantage with 3:30 to play in the first half. UMBC rallied to close within 35-31 at intermission and scored the first eight points of the second half to take the lead.
UMBC returns to the RAC Arena for its final home games of the season, as they welcome league-leading Albany on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. Houston will be honored before tip-off time against the Great Danes.
Notes: Grant now has 107 assists, just two shy of moving into second place for a single season for Retriever freshmen… Joyce has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 15 outings and averaged 22.0 points per game in two victories over Maine.