The Retrievers (3-22, 2-10) set a school record by converting 39 free throw attempts in the game. Junior post Robbie Jackson (Aberdeen, Md.) hit UMBC's final field goal of the night with 3:33 remaining, as the visitors' final 17 points came from the charity stripe.
UMBC escaped the second major snowstorm in the Baltimore area in five days by leaving for Hartford on Tuesday morning.
De La Rosa was named UMBC's America East Player of the Game. He added five assists, four rebounds, two steals, and no turnovers in 38 minutes of action. The sophomore guard hit 14 of 15 shots from the free throw line.
Gilliam nearly pulled off a double-double with nine rebounds as he hit six of 11 from the floor, including three of five behind the arc. He converted 11 of 14 free throws, all in the final 2:20.
Hartford (7-17, 5-6) junior guard Joe Zeglinski led all scorers with 29 points, including seven of 16 from behind the arc.
UMBC took an early 13-6 advantage, but a 10-0 Hawk run gave the hosts a 16-13 lead at the 9:27 mark. But a Gilliam three-pointer snapped a five-minute UMBC scoring drought and sparked an 8-0 Retriever surge, restoring the visitors' lead for the remainder of the half. De La Rosa was brilliant in the first half, scoring 16 points, including the final eight of the stanza. His jumper at the buzzer gave the Retrievers their largest lead of the half at 33-25.
The Retrievers extended their run at the end of the first half to 14-0 as they scored the first eight points of the second stanza and extended the margin to 41-25 at the 15:55 mark. UMBC maintained a double digit advantage at 56-43 with 7:50 remaining, but Zeglinski capped a 10-3 Hawk run with a lay-in with 4:04 remaining and Hartford trailed, 59-53.
Zeglinski buried his final trey of the night and got his team within 71-66 with 1:04 to play and UMBC freshman forward Adrian Satchell missed two free throws with 45 seconds to play. But Zeglinski turned the ball over on the next possession and Gilliam hit five of six free throws the next three times that UMBC touched the ball to preserve the road victory.
UMBC's previous high at the charity stripe was 38 made attempts vs. Charleston Southern on Jan. 23, 1993. De La Rosa came within one free throw of UMBC's single-game Division I record, held by Ray Barbosa, who made 15 of 15 in the 2008 America East semifinal win over Vermont on March 9, 2008.
UMBC held Hartford to 38.2 percent shooting (26 of 68) and the Hawks struggled from the stripe, misfiring on 11 of 17 attempts.
UMBC returns home to entertain Albany at the RAC Arena on Saturday evening.