Easton, Pa. - It was a night for streaks to end at the Kirby Sports Center. The UMBC men's basketball team saw its three-game win streak come to an end as they fell at Lafayette, 87-84, in overtime before a largely pro-UMBC crowd.
The Retrievers (3-1) had won seven straight games decided by five points or less, but let an eleven-point halftime lead slip away as the Leopards (2-2) enjoyed a huge advantage at the free throw line and prevailed in the extra frame.
The setback also spoiled a return of senior guard Ray Barbosa (Allentown, Pa.) and junior guard Jay Greene (Whitehall, Pa.) to the area. Barbosa led all scorers in the game with 26 points, hitting 10 of 18 shots from the floor in 42 minutes of action. Greene contributed seven points and three assists, but fouled out in overtime.
UMBC built a 37-26 halftime lead, hitting 15 of 30 shots from the floor. They briefly built it to 13 at 41-28 a minute into the second half, but the Leopards hit four straight 3-pt. field goals to trim the lead to 46-45 with 14:02 remaining. UMBC kept holding the home team at bay and senior forward Cavell Johnson's turnaround jumper with 2:32 remaining gave the Retrievers a 74-70 lead with 2:32 to play.
But Lafayette's Andrew Brown hit a jumper with 1:32 to play and after Johnson missed on the other end, Brown scored another field goal with 49 seconds remaining after Brian Hodges blocked a Leopard shot. With the score tied at 74-all, Hodges missed an open three-point attempt and Barbosa could not convert an offensive putback.
The Leopards ran down the clock, but Brown was called for an offensive foul against Greene with 4.2 seconds remaining. Barbosa pulled up for a 27-footer for the win, but it was just off the mark.
With the game tied at 77-all in overtime, Lafayette started its parade to the free throw line, hitting ten straight attempts on its final five possessions in the final 2:32. UMBC misfired on three of four possessions and fell behind by six points on Jeff Kari's free throws with 26 seconds left. Barbosa hit a long three-pointer with 11 seconds left to cut the deficit to 85-82, but Kari hit two more free throws as Barbosa fouled out a second later.
Lafayette hit 27 of 36 from the stripe, compared to 12 of 18 for the Retrievers.
Johnson added 22 points and nine rebounds for UMBC. Darryl Proctor added 13 points and nine rebounds and Hodges had 12 points, despite a 3 of 13 shooting effort. UMBC hit just 17 of 45 shots after intermission.
The Retrievers return home to entertain George Washington on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.