Retrievers Fall to UNH in Regular Season Finale, 94-90 in a 2OT Thriller on Saturday

Retrievers Fall to UNH in Regular Season Finale, 94-90 in a 2OT Thriller on Saturday

Durham, N.H.— UMBC fought tooth and nail with UNH on Saturday, but dropped a heart-breaking 94-90 decision on Saturday. Junior Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) scored a season best 33 points in the loss.

UMBC finishes the regular season at 18-11, 9-7 AE while the Wildcats improve to 19-11, 10-6 AE.

Lyles led all scorers with a season high 33 points, adding eight rebounds in the loss. K.J. Maura (San Juan, Puerto Rico) finished with 12 points and five steals, with Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn./St. Thomas Moore) hitting double figures at 12 and 11 each.

Tanner Leissner led the Wildcats with 30 points as five hit double digits scoring.

The Wildcats opened the second half with a 10-0 run to take a commanding seven point lead early on, but the Retrievers fought back, cutting the deficit to just two after five quick points by Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney).

Darley sparked a 12-0 run by the Retrievers that gave UMBC the lead at 55-50 midway through the second half. Their defense would hold UNH without a field goal for six minutes, but the Wildcats cut it back to within one late.

Both teams would exchange baskets in the latter part of the half, with Lyles hitting a big and one with just 11 seconds to go in regulation to force overtime. The Wildcats would have a chance at the buzzer, but Daniel Dion's three was off the mark.

In the extra session, UMBC would see themselves down early, but clawed back, getting another clutch basket from Lyles, to tie it up. Dion once again had a chance at the horn, but it went off the rim to force another overtime.

Both sides fought hard in the overtime, but the Wildcats got eight points from Iba Camara to seal a 94-90 win on Saturday.

Both teams shot 40 percent from the floor, as the teams were identical in nearly every statistical category. UMBC got a big contribution from their bench, as they outscored the Wildcats 27-5 in bench points.

The Wildcats got on the board first, scoring on their very first possession of the contest. UMBC would then find their stride, keeping UNH scoreless for four minutes, going on a 7-0 run to push in front 7-3.

That lead would get extended to 15-7 following a Jairus Lyles layup, as he hit the 1,000 career point mark with the bucket. After that point, both teams would struggle to find the basket as the game went four minutes between points. Jourdan Grant would break the streak with a triple in the corner to increase the Retriever lead.

Tanner Leissner took over for the Wildcats at the end of the half, scoring eight straight points, with the eighth point giving UNH their first lead since the first possession.

However the Retrievers would score the last five points of the half, capped by a Max Curran buzzer beater to lead 32-28 at the break.

UMBC shot 46 percent from the floor, scoring 14 of their 32 points in the paint. The Retrievers got big contributions off the bench, as they outscored the Wildcats 8-2 in bench points.  

The Retrievers will await the outcome of the Albany-Hartford game later tonight to see where they will play in the America East Tournament. If Albany wins, UMBC will return to New Hampshire. A Great Dane loss will have the Retrievers travel to Albany. Both games will be played on Wednesday night. 

DAWG BITES:

-       Both Will Darley and Jairus Lyles hit the 1,000 career point mark in the first half on Saturday.

-       Lyles also scored his 1,000th career point as a Retriever during the game.