The UMBC Retrievers return home on Saturday, Dec. 12 when they host red-hot Mount St. Mary's (3-6) Mountaineers at the RAC Arena. Tip-off time for the contest between the long-time, in-state rivals is slated for 1:00 p.m.
Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier will have the call on Q1370 (www.q1370.com) and via www.umbcretrievers.tv, beginning at 12:55 p.m. Live stats will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and fans can also follow via the men's basketball program's Twitter feed (UMBC_MBB). Access of live stats and video is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: UMBC (2-8) returns home after a 1-2 road trip, featuring a 70-59 win at Longwood on Dec. 5. In their last outing on Tuesday, the Retrievers fought back gamely from its largest halftime deficit of the season, but high-scoring Duquesne held off the visitors, 89-70, at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
Freshman wing Joe Sherburne continued his brilliant play, scoring a season-high 25 points and burying 6-of-13 from behind the arc. Senior post Cody Joyce added 18 points off the bench and junior wing Will Darley scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive contest with a 13-point effort.
Sherburne now leads the squad at 14.7 points per game (3rd, AE) and leads the team in 3-point field goals (29, 2.9 per game, 2nd in AE) and steals (15, 1.5 per game, T3 in AE).
In his return after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury, red-shirt sophomore guard Rodney Elliott is scoring 13.1 points per game and has scored in double figures in eight of his first ten contests. The Baltimore native is sixth in America East in scoring and is third with 3.9 assists per game. Joyce, who competed in his 100th collegiate contest at Duquesne, averages 11.2 ppg and a team-high 5.7 caroms per contest.
Since opening the season 28-of-58 (48.3%) from the charity stripe, UMBC is 126-of-165 (76.4%) in its last seven games. The Retrievers have attempted 47 more free throws than its foes and also leads America East in turnover margin at +2.2 (11.5 per game, opponents, 13.7 per game).
MOUNT UPDATE: The Mountaineers (3-6) have won three straight games, all at home, after starting the season at 0-6. The Mount's first four losses occurred at national powers Maryland (80-56), Ohio State (76-54), Washington (100-67) and Gonzaga (101-56). Mount has topped the 80-point mark in December triumphs over American (81-56), Loyola (85-68) and, most recently, Bucknell (81-73). The Mount rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Bison by eight points.
Junior guard BK Ashe leads the Mount at 15.4 points per game, while sophomore back court mate Junior Robinson is also in double figures at 12.1 points per contest. Given their early season slate, Mount is allowing their foes to shoot at a 49.0 percent clip and is being outrebounded by an average of 17.9 caroms per game.
SERIES NOTES: UMBC and the Mount have met 48 previous times, with the Mountaineers leading the series, 29-19. The two universities have been a part of two conferences together, the NCAA Division II Mason-Dixon Conference (2 incarnations, 1975-86) and the Northeast Conference, where UMBC competed from 1997-2003. Mount St. Mary's and UMBC have met 20 times at the Division I level and the Retrievers hold a slight 11-9 edge.
Since resuming the series in 2012-13, each team has triumphed on its home floor. MSM took a 58-55 decision on a snowy day in December of 2012, while UMBC came up with a miraculous rally to win 90-84 in overtime the following season.
Rodney Elliott scored 24 of his 26 points after halftime, as UMBC wiped out a school-record 23-point deficit and defeated Mt. St. Mary's, 90-84, in overtime on Nov. 17, 2013. The Retrievers trailed, 61-38 with 14:19 to play and were still behind, 72-61 with 3:29 remaining, but sent the game to extra time, knotted at 75-all. UMBC would prevail, playing its third consecutive overtime game. One additional overtime game would follow, moving UMBC into the record books along with three other squads which played four extra-time games in a row.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC completes its exam period next week and is off until Sat., Dec. 19 when they travel to Howard for a 4:00 p.m. contest. The game will be Aki Thomas' (Howard, '02) versus his alma mater at Burr Gymnasium.