Albany quickly erased a 40-34 halftime deficit, scoring the first 10 points of the half and holding UMBC to one field goal in the first 10:19 of the half. The Great Danes built the lead to 11 points twice, taking a 66-55 advantage with 3:17 remaining. UMBC would rally and closed to within 68-63 on a 3-point field goal by freshman wing Brian Neller (Red Bank, N.J.) with 1:21 remaining. But Albany converted four consecutive free throws and three-pointers by freshman Nick Groce (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Neller in the final 16 seconds were not enough.
UMBC did tie a season with nine 3-point field goal in the game, hitting nine of 17 from behind the arc. The Retrievers converted 26 of 50 shots from the floor (52 percent), but were again badly outrebounded, 36-20, by Albany and the Great Danes had 14 second-chance points to just two for UMBC.
Trailing 16-14 with 11:45 to play in the first half, UMBC outscored the Great Danes, 11-2, over the next four minutes to take a 25-18 advantage at the 7:40 mark. The Retrievers extended the advantage to as many as 11 points, at 36-25, on a short Gilliam jumper, with 3:29 remaining before settling for a 40-34 halftime advantage.
The Retrievers hit 16 of 26 shots from the floor (61.5%) and four of five from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes. The 40 first half points tied a season best, set on Dec. 30 at Central Connecticut State.
Gilliam hit 8 of 13 shots from the floor and three of six from behind the arc. Junior post Robbie Jackson (Aberdeen, Md.) was the only other Retriever in double figures, scoring eight of his 10 points (4/5 fg) in the final 20 minutes. Neller hit three of four shots from behind the arc in the final six minutes of play and finished with nine points.
Senior Matt Spadafora (Richboro, Pa.) also added nine points for UMBC.
Ambrose hit seven of nine shots from the floor in the second half and added a game-high five assists.
UMBC heads to Stony Brook on Monday for a 5:00 p.m. tilt with the Seawolves.