There are some records which are sacred to a sports organization – be it amateur or professional. At a school like UMBC, which does not sponsor football, the school's all-time leader in scoring in the sport of men's basketball is one of those records and Moment No. 41 on our #retriever50for50 countdown occurred the last time that mark was broken.
Larry Simmons came to UMBC from Noblesville, Indiana. He probably never heard of our school had it not been for the hiring of former Northwestern assistant Jeff Bzdelik in the early spring of 1986. Simmons was on Bzdelik's recruiting radar and the new Retriever mentor coaxed the country boy to Baltimore.
For the next four years, Simmons played in all 112 games that UMBC competed in. The sharpshooting guard amassed 1,235 points in his first three seasons and quickly climbed to the top of the Retriever charts in assists, steals and 3-point field goals. As a junior, he finished third in the nation in free throw percentage at 90.2 percent
He averaged 14.7 points per game through his first three seasons which put on pace to finish 14 points shy of Rick Moreland's all-time record of 1,714 points. But Simmons had to carry much of the load in the 1989-90 season as standouts Kenny Reynolds, Duane Faust and Gamel Spencer were no longer on the team.
He started the year with a 25-point effort in a 73-71 victory over Florida International and tallied 39 versus Drexel and 31 against Rider, putting him easily in range of Moreland.
On February 17, 1990, and with Moreland in attendance, UMBC took on St. Mary's of Maryland. The Retrievers bolted to a big early lead and Simmons scored nine points (of the 12 he needed) in the first 3:23 of the game. As the minutes rolled by, other Retrievers were doing the scoring and Simmons even missed a free throw. Finally, with 4:44 remaining in the half, he buried a trey to surpass Moreland, who served as an assistant coach of Simmons during his sophomore campaign. The game was halted, and Simmons was presented the game ball by Moreland.
Simmons would finish his career with 1,805 points, a mark that remains intact today. He earned All-Independent honors (UMBC was not in a conference until the year after Simmons graduated) after averaging 20.4 points per game that season.
Simmons also played soccer during his last two seasons at UMBC and was an outstanding striker for John Ellinger's teams in 1988 and 1989. He was inducted into the UMBC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.