The UMBC Retrievers open the first half of the America East Conference schedule and look to snap a six-game slide when they host the three-time defending America East champion Albany Great Danes at the RAC Arena on Wednesday, Feb.3. Tip-off time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
The contest will be broadcast on Q1370AM, www.q1370.com and www.americaeast.tv with Paul Mittermeier on the call. 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: A gritty effort by UMBC (5-18, 1-7 America East) came up just short, as the Retrievers fell, 84-81, to visiting New Hampshire at the RAC Arena on Saturday. Sophomore guard Jairus Lyles led all scorers with 26 points, leading four Retrievers in double figures.
There were six ties and seven lead changes in the second half and neither team led by more than four points over the final 27 minutes of play. UNH took the lead for good at the 1:00 mark on an end-of-shot -clock trey by Tanner Leissner and Rodney Elliott's game-tying attempt in the final seconds fell short of the mark.
Lyles (24.5 ppg) has scored 24 or more points in all but two of his 12 outings and the Retrievers are averaging 78.3 points per game during his tenure.
In his return after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury, red-shirt sophomore guard Rodney Elliott is averaging 13.9 points. Elliott scored 17 points in the setback versus UNH on Saturday. Junior forward Will Darley, who added 14 points vs. the Wildcats, is tenth in America East in field goal percentage at 50.0 percent. Senior post Cody Joyce needs 12 points to reach 1,000 in his collegiate tenure.
America East foes averaged 82.3 points per game and shot a combined 52.3 percent from the floor against the Retrievers through the first go-around in league play.
GREAT DANE UPDATE: Three-time America East defending champion Albany (17-6 overall) completed the first half of the league slate at 6-2, with the lone narrow setbacks occurring at Maine (81-79) and unblemished Stony Brook (69-63). The Great Danes have won two straight since the loss to the Seawolves, including a resounding 86-60 victory at Hartford on Saturday.
Senior guard Peter Hooley heated up to score 27 points and add 13 caroms as UA outrebounded UH, 49-28. Senior guard Evan Singletary leads four Danes in double figures, averaging 13.1 points per game. UA shoots a league-best 74.3 percent from the free throw line.
EARLIER MATCH-UP AND THE SERIES: Albany has won four straight in the series since a 71-69 Retriever victory in February of 2014. The Great Danes lead the all-time series, 21-7, capturing 13 of the last 14 match-ups.
Back on January 6, Albany outscored UMBC, 11-1, in the final 2:30 and defeated the Retrievers, 73-59, in the league opener for both squads. Lyles led all scorers with 17 points. The Retrievers fell behind by ten points on two occasions in the second half, but battled back to cut the deficit to four points each time. Darley hit his second trey of the night to bring UMBC to within 62-58 with 2:49 to play, but it was UMBC's final field goal of the night.
WHO'S UP NEXT: The Retrievers will face surprising Maine in Portland on Saturday, Feb. 6 with a noon start time slated.