UMBC snapped a three-game-game slide and improved to 13-16 overall and 7-9 in the America East Conference. The defending league champions will be the No. 6 seed and face third-seeded Boston University (17-12, 11-5) in the second game (2:30 p.m.) of the league quarterfinals on Saturday, March 7.
In what was likely their final home appearance, the two seniors continued to set school records. Greene, who scored nine points in the game, played in his 119th career contest, the most in school history. Proctor was held to a season-low tying 13 points, but now has 579 on the season, the most ever in the school's 23 years of Division I competition.
"They (Greene and Proctor) are warriors." Head Coach Randy Monroe said. "When it is time to make a big play, they are always in the mix. They understand what it takes to be successful." The duo struggled in the first half, hitting only three of 16 attempts from the floor as the visiting Great Danes took a 34-29 lead at intermission. UMBC quickly erased that with seven straight points to start the second half and only trailed on two more occasions in the final 17:12 of the game. Senior forward Brian Connelly's elbow jumper with 6:42 remaining pulled the Danes into a tie at 49-all with 6:42 remaining.
On the next possession, UMBC junior forward Justin Fry (New Bloomfield, Pa.), who returned to the lineup after missing five games with a knee injury, hit a foul line jumper to UMBC the lead for good. Albany had one chance in the final 5:52 to tie or take the lead, but Connelly was called for an offensive foul with 1:43 remaining and the Danes trailing, 60-58. Then, Greene hit his second field goal of the game, as the five-foot-eight point guard got to the goal for a driving layup with 1:31 remaining.
Albany cut the deficit to two points on three occasions in the final minute, but Proctor hit all four free throw attempts and Greene made both of his to seal the win. Sophomore guard Tim Ambrose led Albany with 19 points and had a game-high five assists. Junior forward Will Harris added 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Albany lost for the seventh time in their last eight games.
Gilliam hit a season-high four 3-point field goal attempts and added four steals. Junior guard Matt Spadafora (Richboro, Pa.) was also sharp for UMBC, hitting six of eight shots in a 13-point effort. After hitting only 11 of 33 shots in the first half, UMBC converted on 12 of 21 in the final 20 minutes and finished at 42.6% for the game.
The Great Danes hit 14 of 25 in the first half, but only 10 of 30 in the second half to finish at 43.6% for the contest. Albany corralled 19 offensive rebounds and demolished UMBC on the glass, 41-23, but the Retrievers committed a season-low four turnovers and made 16 of 19 from the charity stripe.
Albany (14-15, 6-10 America East) will be the seventh seed in the tournament and will face second-seeded Vermont (23-7, 13-3) in the first game of the day at noon. Gilliam has 317 points on the season, the most by a UMBC freshman since the 2001-02 season when Peter Mulligan amassed 450 and the eighth-most in 23 years of Division I competition.