Men's Basketball Moves to 5-1 With 81-72 Victory at Duquesne

Men's Basketball Moves to 5-1 With 81-72 Victory at Duquesne

PITTSBURGH –UMBC scored 52 first half points, built a 16-point second half lead, and held off host Duquesne, 81-72, at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

The Retrievers improved to 5-1 on the campaign, and posted its first victory over Duquesne (3-5) in five meetings.

The victory was the Retrievers' first over an Atlantic 10 squad since the 2007-08 campaign.

Four Retrievers scored in double figures, paced by sophomore wing Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) and junior guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha, who tallied 16 points each. Senior forward Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) added 13 points and junior guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) added 11.

After a slow start , the Retrievers turned on the switch and played brilliant offensive basketball in the final 11 minutes of the first half. Duquesne led, 19-12, at the 12:22 mark of the stanza, but the Retrievers caught fire and outscored the Dukes, 40-21, until a Rene Castro trey ended the half with the visitors in front, 52-43.

UMBC misfired on 10 of its first 15 shots and  four of five from behind the arc, but ended the stanza by converting 15 of 19 field goal attempts and 7-of-10 from long range. Six different Retrievers hit treys, while sophomore post Nolan Gerrity (Cleveland, Ohio) sunk his final four shots from the paint in the half and finished with 8 points.  

The 52 points were a season-high for UMBC in the first 20 minutes of play in 2016-17.

Duquesne quickly cut the deficit to 52-49 early in the second half, but UMBC responded with a 17-4 surge to take a game-high 16-point advantage at 69-53 with 13:17 remaining .

The Dukes would chip away, as UMBC only converted eight second half field goals. The hosts got as close as 73-68 with 4:20 remaining. Retriever junior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Spalding) missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Duquesne had two shot attempts to cut the lead to a one-possession affair. But  they misfired twice, and Grant redeemed himself by grabbing the rebound, drawing a foul and restoring UMBC's lead to seven points with 3:34 remaining.

After a Duquesne field goal, Lyles hit a driving layup with 2:15 to play and the Dukes could only counter with one more bucket in the final stages of the game.

Sherburne, who scored a career-high 25 points at Duquesne a year ago, buried all four of his three-point attempts and added a team-best five assists.

UMBC, which amassed 15 assists and three miscues in the first half, finished with 18 and 10 respectively. The Retrievers shot 47.5 percent from the floor, but converted 12-of-23 from beyond the arc and 13-of-17 from the charity stripe.

Duquesne, who was led by reserve guard Rene Castro's 15 points, countered with 49.2 percent shooting (30-of-61) , but only attempted three free throws in the contest.

The 5-1 record ties UMBC's best-ever at the Division I level, matching the 2000-01 squad.

UMB C returns home to face Messiah (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon.