BALTIMORE – Making his first start of the season, UMBC junior wing Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) scored a career-high 18 points, but the Retrievers could not recover from a poor shooting first half and fell to visiting Colgate, 71-63, at the RAC Arena.
Sophomore guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) tied Darley for team-high honors with 18 points, doing most of his damage from the free throw line, where he hit his first 11 shots and finished 12-of-14 overall.
Colgate snapped a three-game slide and improved to 2-3 on the season, while UMBC dropped its third straight and fell to 1-6.
The Retrievers got off to a good start, as Darley scored the squad's first eight points en route to an opening 12-7 run in the first 6:07 of play. But Colgate heated up and UMBC would convert only two field goals in the final 14 minutes of the half. The Raiders went on a 19-3 run to take a 26-15 advantage at the 6:33 mark of the half. Dating back to the Navy contest on Wednesday, UMBC misfired on 24 consecutive treys until junior Ben Grace (Baltimore, Md. /The Gilman School) connected with 19 seconds to play in the half.
Colgate took a 37-24 lead into the break, as UMBC converted just 6-of-24 shots from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Colgate led by as many as 14 points, at 44-30, at the 15:48 mark of the second half, but UMBC, using an unorthodox lineup of Grant, Grace, Darley, freshman Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) and Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) would fight back late in the contest. They trimmed an 11-point deficit of 55-44 with 6:41 to play to 55-49 on a rare trey by Sherburne pair of free throws by Grant just 26 seconds later.
But Colgate's next possession would be disastrous for UMBC, as Darley rejected a shot, but Grant turned it back over to the Raiders on the fast break and Elliott picked up his fifth foul near the end of the shot clock.
UMBC would get within six points on two more occasions, but Colgate responded each time with points on the ensuing possessions and won the first meeting between the two schools.
Twenty-six of Colgate's 48 field goal attempts came from behind the arc and the Raiders converted 10-of-26 (38.5%). The Raiders were 22-of-48 overall (45.8%) and buried 17-of-22 free throw attempts (77.3%).
The Retrievers hit 12-of-22 shots in the final 20 minutes, but still finished below 40 percent (18-of-47, 38.3%) from the floor. They were very efficient from the charity stripe, converting 24-of-29 attempts (82.8%).
Grant's 12 successful free throw attempts are tied for the seventh-most in a single game in school history.
Darley hit 6-of-9 shots from the floor, 6-of-7 from the stripe and added five rebounds in a season-high 30 minutes played. Grace added nine points for the hosts, as he started the second half and played a season-high 20 minutes.
Senior guard Austin Tillotson led four Raiders in double figures with 17 points and he added seven assists.
UMBC plays its next three games on the road, starting with a Dec. 2 contest at Bowling Green.