The UMBC men's basketball team (10-7, 1-1 America East) continues its three-game road swing through New England on Wednesday, Jan. 10 when the Retrievers take on the resurgent Maine Black Bears (4-11, 1-1 AE) at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Retriever Update: UMBC saw its two-game winning streak halted on Saturday, Jan. 6, as the Retrievers fell, 71-56, at defending America East champion Vermont. Senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) led all scorers with 20 points, but UMBC shot just 36.4 percent from the floor and were outscored, 36-12, in the paint, to drop the decision to the Catamounts.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md.) scored 8 points at Vermont, just his second non-double figure game of the season. He still leads the Retrievers and America East in scoring (20.3 points per game) and steals (2.2 per game).
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) (14.0 ppg, team high 6.9 rpg) tied a season high with five treys vs. the Catamounts and is tied for first in the league in treys made (47) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (49.0). Maura (San Juan, P.R.) (10.9 ppg) also averages in double figures and leads the conference with 5.6 helpers per game.
UMBC is averaging 77.4 points per game (second in America East) and the Retrievers are converting 12.0 treys per game, still tops in the nation through games of Jan. 8. They are tied for second with 204 total 3-pt. field goals made.
The Retrievers are a perfect 8-0 at home this season, but just 2-7 away from the RAC Arena and are looking to snap a three-game road losing streak.
A Glance at the Black Bears: Maine opened league play with two games on the road and nearly pulled off a pair of wins in New York. They dropped a heart-breaking 71-70 decision at Stony Brook on Jan. 3, as the Seawolves hit a last second trey to thwart a huge second half Black Bear rally. But Maine rallied from a double-digit deficit to knock off Binghamton, 76-73, in Vestal, N.Y. on Jan. 6 and returns home for the first time since Dec. 10.
Junior guard Aaron Calixte earned co-America East Player of the Week honors, amassing 39 points and 12 assists in the two games in the Empire State. He leads Maine and is ninth in the conference with 15.4 points per game.
The Black Bears average 66.6 points per game, but have been much improved on defense, standing second in the league in field goal defense at 43.3 percent.
The Series: Maine is the lone America East team that the Retrievers boast of a winning record against. UMBC has won six straight in the series and now leads, 17-13. The Retrievers have also won three in a row at Maine and hold a narrow 8-7 series advantage. Last season, UMBC won, 75-64, at the RAC Arena and 83-71 at Cross Insurance Center. Lyles averages 22.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and shoots 56.9 % (9/18 from three) vs. the Black Bears, while Maura posted a double-double (14 pts., 11 assists) in the home victory a season ago.
Up Next: UMBC heads south from Bangor and will take on UMass Lowell on Saturday, Jan. 13. Tip-off time at Tsongas Center is slated for noon.