UMBC (16-7. 7-3 America East) returns home for just the second time since Jan. 16 when the Retrievers host the Hartford Hawks (6-19, 1-9 AE) in the annual "Black-Out" game at the RAC Arena on Thursday, Feb. 9. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN3. Gary Stein, John Feinstein and Paul Mittermeier cover all the angles of the match-up between the Retrievers and Hawks.
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 is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
RETRIEVERS' UPDATE: UMBC senior forward Will Darley scored a season-high 31 points, leading the visiting Retrievers to a 83-71 victory over Maine at Cross Insurance Center on Saturday.
The Retrievers won their third straight game and improved to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in America East play. Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne added 16 points for the Retrievers and paced a balanced effort on the boards with five rebounds.
Junior guard Jarius Lyles leads the squad and is second in America East in scoring, averaging 20.0 points per game. The 6'2" guard is also UMBC's top rebounder at 6.7 caroms per game, good for fourth in the conference. Named America East Player of the Week for the second time this season on Dec. 26, he is currently ranked 38th in the country in points per game.
Darley, who earned America East co-Player of the Week and College Sports Madness AE Player of the week honors on Monday, is scoring at a clip of 15.8 points per game and is averaging 19.8 points per outing (2nd in the league) in America East contests. Sophomore forward Joe Sherburne leads the conference in 3-pt. field goal percentage at 50.0 percent and is averaging 12.8 points per contest.
Through games of Feb. 7, UMBC was 21st in the nation in scoring average at 82.4 points per game. They are also ranked 18th nationally with 9.8 three-point field goals made per game and 14th in 3-pt. field goal percentage (40.2 percent).
DOG BYTES: UMBC leads America East in scoring (82.4), 3-pt. field goal percentage (40.2), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and treys per game (9.8). They are ranked second in assists (15.2), steals (6.7), scoring margin (+6.1), and in field goal percentage (47.5).
There are 30 first-year head coaches and 21 first-year new school coaches (with previous DI experience) in 2016-17. As of Feb. 6, Ryan Odom has the greatest winning percentage differential of all of those coaches at an improvement of 47.7 percent over last season's final record.
UMBC has only won more than 16 games five times in its 30-year NCAA Division I history… Junior guard Rodney Elliott scored seven points and has moved into a tie for 19th place in school history with 956 points… Darley is averaging 19.8 points per game in ten America East contests and has moved into ninth place in program history for 3-point field goals made with 123.
HAWKS' UPDATE: Hartford (6-19, 1-9 America East) has dropped six straight, since their lone conference win versus Maine on 54-44. The Black Bears avenged that setback on Monday, defeating the Hawks, 52-41. UH struggled mightily from the floor, hitting only 12 of 56 field goal attempts (21.4 percent), including 4-of-28 from behind the arc.
Senior guard Jalen Ross is third in America East in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per outing. He is second in the league with 2.5 treys made per contest. Backcourt mate sophomore Jason Dunne is the other Hawk in double figures, averaging 12.6 points per outing. He is sixth in America East with 2.3 treys per game. Junior post Hassan Attia leads the conference with 41 blocked shots.
The Hawks are third in the conference in treys, with 8.5 per contest, but have dropped to eighth in both scoring offense (66.0 ppg) and scoring defense (77.3 ppg).
THE SERIES: UMBC snapped a five-game slide to the Hawks with January's 84-68 in West Hartford. The Hawks still lead the all-time series, 16-13. The Retrievers hold a narrow 8-6 lead in games played at the RAC Arena, but UH has won the last two meetings.
EARLIER MEETING: Will Darley scored 29 points, including seven treys, as the visiting Retrievers improved to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in America East play with a 84-68 victory at Hartford on Jan. 11. Lyles and Sherburne scored 16 and 14 respectively for UMBC.
UMBC converted 17-of-33 treys on the night, tying its second-most in school history, and recording the most against ever against a Division I foe. The Retrievers, how led, 37-27 at the half, led by as many as 24 points on four occasions in the final 5:32.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC welcome undefeated Vermont to the RAC Arena on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 1:00 p.m. The Catamounts are currently 11-0 in America East play (21-5 overall) prior to hosting UNH on Thursday.