The UMBC men's basketball team opens play in its 13th America East post-season when the eighth-seeded Retrievers travel to top-seeded Stony Brook in the league quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 2. A 7:00 p.m. tip-off time is slated for IFCU Arena.
The contest will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Ed Cohen and Adam Finkelstein on the call. Paul Mittermeier will handle broadcast duties on Q1370AM/www.q1370.com with the pregame show beginning at 6:55 p.m.
Live stats and all America East Playoff information is available on AE Championship Central at http://bit.ly/1LSndKl. Fans can also follow via the UMBC 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 snapped a four-game losing skid with an 80-79 overtime win over Binghamton in the Retrievers' final home game on Feb. 24, but suffered a 78-69 loss at the hands of host New Hampshire on Saturday. The Retrievers rallied from 19 points down and came within three points of the Wildcats down the stretch, but UNH finished the game 10-11 from the foul line to hold on to triumph, 78-69. UMBC fell to 7-24 and 3-13 in the league.
Sophomore Jairus Lyles led UMBC with 27 points on Saturday and set UMBC's sophomore season scoring record (460 points) in the process.
Lyles, who earned America East Second Team honors, led the conference leader with 22.1 points per game in league play. Despite missing the first 11 games of the season, he also set a sophomore mark in field goals made (160) and has tied UMBC's record with 53 steals.
After missing a year due to injury, backcourt mate and classmate Rodney Elliott averaged 13.1 points per game and was one of the conference's top playmakers (3.5 assists per game), but missed the final four games of the regular season with a lower body injury. Junior wing Will Darley is averaging 11.2 points per contest and is seventh in America East in 3-pt. field goal percentage at 40.6 percent. Freshman wing Joe Sherburne was the lone Retriever to start all 31 games and earned America East All-Rookie Team honors. Sherburne is UMBC's top three-point threat with 59 treys, the third-most ever for a Retriever freshman.
SEAWOLF UPDATE: Stony Brook (23-6, 14-2) won 18 straight games from December through February and sewed up the AE regular season title on February 21 with a 75-56 win at Maine. The Seawolves did stumble on Senior Day at IFCU Arena, falling, 76-62 in the finale versus a red-hot Vermont squad.
Senior post Jameel Warney just earned his third consecutive America East Player of the Year award. Also the league's Defensive Player of the Year, Warney leads SBU with 18.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots per game. Classmate guard Carson Puriefoy, also an America East First Team honoree, adds 14.5 points per game and leads the Seawolves with 71 treys.
Stony Brook outscored AE foes by an average of 14.4 points per game in 2016.
2016 MATCH-UPS AND THE SERIES: Stony Brook swept the season series from UMBC in 2015-16, earning an 86-74 victory at IFCU Arena on Jan. 13 and defeating the Retrievers, 75-52, at the RAC Arena on Feb. 11. UMBC trimmed a 17-point deficit to three points midway through the second half, but could not complete the rally on Long Island in mid-January. Jairus Lyles led the way with 24 points and UMBC outscored SBU, 14-8, on second-chance points. UMBC shot a tepid 14 percent (4-of-27) in the first 20 minutes in the return engagement and trailed by 20 points at the half. Lyles led UMBC with 13 points.
UMBC has dropped 16 straight to SBU and trail the all-time series, 21-8. UMBC's last victory over Stony Brook occurred in the 2008 America East quarterfinals. The two squads have met three times in post-season play, with the Retrievers holding a 2-1 edge.
WHO'S UP NEXT: Should the Retrievers advance, they would travel to play the highest remaining seed in the America East semifinals on Monday, March 7.