BALTIMORE – Four Retrievers scored in double figures as UMBC (10-4, 1-0) opened America East Conference play with a 85-71 victory over Binghamton (9-7, 0-1) at the RAC Arena.
It was UMBC's first victory in an America East lid-lifter since the 2011-12 campaign.
Senior forward Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) and junior guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) paced the balanced effort with 17 points each. Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) added 14 points and sophomore post Nolan Gerrity (Cleveland, Ohio) pitched in with 13.
The Retrievers led, 37-31, at halftime and the Bearcats twice cut the gap to four points on their first two possessions of the period. But Gerrity, who scored just two points in the first half, converted a layup and free throw, and, after a Lyles driving layup, hit from inside again to push the lead to 46-37. Junior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) hit a corner trey to cap the 10-2 surge and give UMBC a 49-37 advantage at the 17:13 mark.
The Bearcats would stay within striking distance and a Willie Rodriguez layup sliced the UMBC lead to 62-55 with 8:41 remaining. But Retriever freshman Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) calmly sank a trifecta from the top of the key to start a game-deciding 14-0 run which put the hosts in command at 76-55 with 5:16 remaining. Maura again capped the rally with a trey.
UMBC converted 10-of-21 shots from behind the arc as seven different Retrievers got into the act. Binghamton knocked down 11 treys, but attempted 28 and only went to the free throw line six times.
Maura added five assists and four steals to his stat line as UMBC scored all eight fast-break points in the game. Junior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) led all players with nine rebounds and he added seven points and five assists.
Freshman guard Fard Muhammad led four Bearcats in double figures with 16 points.
UMBC used a 19-7 run in the middle stages of the first half to take a 24-13 lead at the x:xx mark of the stanza. The Retrievers built the advantage to 33-20 with 5:27 to play in the half, but only made one field goal after that point and Binghamton cut the deficit to 37-31 at intermission.
Darley and Sherburne combined to hit 9-of-14 shots from the floor and four-of-five from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
UMBC outrebounded the bigger Bearcats, 43-31, including 24-13 in the second half.
The Retrievers return to the RAC Arena to host Maine on Sunday at noon.